MATTHEW Shevlin would hit a fine hat-trick as Coleraine made it three successive wins in the Danske Bank Premiership…
Bannsiders boss Oran Kearney would name an unchanged line-up for a third game on the trot but it would be Carrick who would start brightest as David Cushley fired over from outside the box, before the same player failed to find the target after being picked out by Emmett McGuckin.
However, Coleraine would weather that early storm and take the lead on 19 minutes. A nice piece of play involving Jamie Glackin and Lee Lynch saw the latter being denied by Ross Glendinning, with Lynch being the quickest to the rebound to cross for Shevlin to head home.
On 22 minutes, Coleraine would go close again as Shevlin held the ball up after being under pressure by Jim Ervin, and just as the luck of the bounce favoured Lynch, the midfielder lashed wide at the edge of the box. Less than a minute later, Carrick would have a chance of their own as Ben Tilney’s cross was headed over the bar by Lloyd Anderson.
In an entertaining first-half in east Antrim, Stuart King’s side would be left frustrated as a great pass by Anderson released Allen inside the box but the ex-Coleraine striker could only hit a tame effort into the gloves of Martin Gallagher. Two minutes later, the Stripes would have the next sight of goal as Lyndon Kane’s drive from distance went straight down the throat of Glendinning.
It almost seemed like a second goal would be in the offing and it duly arrived on 41 minutes as a strong run and pass by Evan McLaughlin released Shevlin one-on-one with the ‘keeper. The ex-Ballymena United ace showed composure to round Glendinning and tap the ball into an empty net.
On the stroke of half-time, Carrick would half the deficit as Conor McDermott was adjudged to have fouled Cameron Stewart inside the box. The ball was picked up by David Cushley who comfortably dispatched from 12 yards.
The second-half started with Carrick in the ascendancy and they went within a whisker of drawing level. A fizzed corner kick into the box by Cushley was met by Stewart who sent a header just the wrong side of the post.
That miss would prove to be the Bannsiders’ gain as they regained their two goal lead on 54 minutes. A free-kick delivery by Josh Carson was steered goalwards by Kieran Farren and Shevlin gladly slammed the ball home to complete his hat-trick. That strike made it seven goals in his last four appearances at the Loughshore Leisure Arena.
The Amber Army would rue further missed chances as they instantly went in search of a way back into the contest. Firstly, McGuckin found Allen inside the box and somehow the ex-Coleraine man would see a goal bound effort tipped over the bar by Gallagher, before McGuckin would see a goal bound header cleared off the line by Josh Carson.
After Coleraine handed a debut to Jack O’Mahony, it would be another substitute who would make an impact as Coleraine went 4-1 ahead. A cross into the box by Aaron Jarvis wasn’t cleared and Jamie Glackin tapped the ball home from close range.
The hosts kept pushing and McGuckin would see another header cleared off the line by Kane, with the resulting cross by Ronan Kalla clipping the top of the crossbar. However, at the death, Allen would get a goal as he arrowed into the bottom corner beyond the reach of Gallagher.
A six-goal thriller which sees Coleraine maintain their perfect start to the campaign.
CARRICK RANGERS: Ross Glendinning, Forsythe (Kalla ’73 mins), Stewart (McKieran ’69 mins), Ervin, Cushley (Cherry ’68 mins), Mitchell, McGuckin, Allen, Reece Glendinning, Tilney, Anderson (Gillen ’73 mins).
Sub Not Used: Hogg (GK), Waite, Chambers.
COLERAINE: Gallagher, Kane, D. Jarvis, Mullan, Carson (McCrudden ’88 mins), Farren, Lynch (O’Mahony ’81 mins), Glackin (McKendry ’88 mins), E. McLaughlin (A. Jarvis ’77 mins), McDermott, Shevlin (J. McLaughlin ’81 mins).
Subs Not Used: Deane (GK), R. Brown.
Referee: Raymond Crangle