COLERAINE slipped to a defeat in the Wes Gregg Memorial match as a brace from Zach Barr proved enough for Portstewart to claim the win…
The Bannsiders received a boost before a ball was kicked as there was a return from injury for trio Lyndon Kane, Alexander Gawne and Stephen Lowry as Oran Kearney’s men prepare for the 2019-20 campaign.
The first real chance arrived on seven minutes as a through ball found the run of Nicky Hudson but ‘keeper Richard Purcell reacted sharply to clear the danger. At the other end, Portstewart ‘keeper Andy Findlay also had to be alert to punch away the danger as James McLaughlin looked ready to pounce.
On 11 minutes, Purcell was called into action once again to deny Mark Edgar’s inswinging free-kick, before Hanson spotted the Coleraine ‘keeper off his line, but his audacious lob failed to find the target. Johnny Law’s team were searching for the opener and it almost arrived as Edgar’s sweet effort went inches wide of the post.
However, after Purcell made a superb stop to deny Ryan Doherty, the hosts hit the front on 38 minutes as a looping header from Zach Barr found the back of the net. Before the half-time whistle, Coleraine almost drew level as a quick counter attack resulted in James McLaughlin’s acrobatic effort was cleared off the line by Karl Steele.
The second-half was barely five minutes old when Coleraine found the equaliser in fine style. The ball presented itself to McLaughlin and the striker arrowed a delightful strike into the net from long distance. The Stripes almost found the lead moments later but McLaughlin’s header was deflected wide for a corner.
On 63 minutes, Portstewart would grab the lead once again as a cross from Kieran Neill found Barr at the back post and he made no mistake from close range for his second strike of the evening.
The Bannsiders probed for an equaliser as Alexander Gawne lashed an effort over the bar, Findlay made a great save to prevent McLaughlin from doubling to his tally, before Andy Whiteside fired wide from outside the box as Portstewart held firm for victory.
PORTSTEWART: Findlay (Vance), Forgrave, L. Bradley (Neill), Watt, Steele (Douglas), Law, Vauls, Doherty (McDonald), Edgar, Hudson, Hanson (Barr).
COLERAINE: Purcell, Kane (R. Boorman ’75 mins), Douglas, Lowry, McLaughlin, E. Bradley, Crown, Gawne, Whiteside, T. Boorman, Brennan (Quigley ’70 mins).
Sub Not Used: Owens