COLERAINE continued their preparations for the Europa Conference League with a 2-1 win against Larne at Inver Park…
The hosts – who are also involved in European competition – made the brighter start with Conor McKendry going close, before Coleraine stopper Martin Gallagher was called into action to deny Tomas Cosgrove’s effort.
In a first-half that failed to create any meaningful chances, Tiernan Lynch’s troops would go close on 36 minutes as Kofi Balmer – who joined from Ballymena United – headed straight into the arms of Gallagher from a corner kick.
That save would prove crucial as the Stripes took the lead in fine style sixty seconds later. The ball landed at the feet of Curtis Allen and the striker his an unstoppable 20 yard effort beyond the reach of Rohan Ferguson and into the back of the net.
However, that lead didn’t last long as Larne drew level on 42 minutes. A free-kick delivery from Mark Randall was right on the money as ex-Coleraine striker Davy McDaid was in the perfect position to head the ball into the net.
The Bannsiders brought on Eoin Bradley and the striker would once again take centre stage at Inver Park as he helped regain the visitors’ lead on 62 minutes. ‘Skinner’ was on hand to tap home at the back post from a cross.
Larne – who will play Bala Town next week – almost found another quick equaliser as Gallagher would tip Herron’s effort onto the crossbar, with Matty Lusty being denied from getting a shot on goal from the rebound as Coleraine’s defence held firm.
The raft of changes meant the game failed to hit the heights of the first-half and the final chance of the evening would fall for Larne as a dangerous cross from Max Greer just failed to find Ronan Hale and Lusty.
A win for Oran Kearney’s men who will be more delighted to get more minutes in the tank ahead of next week’s clash in Bosnia.
LARNE: Ferguson, Balmer, Robinson, Randall, McDaid, Scott, Lynch, Mitchell, McKendry, Cosgrove, Jarvis.
Subs: Argyrides, Kelly, Hughes, Watson, Greer, Sule, Herron, Trialist A, Lusty, Hale, Trialist B.
COLERAINE: Gallagher, Kane, Mullan, Brown, Doherty, Lowry, McLaughlin, Carson, Glackin, Traynor, Allen.
Subs: Jarvis, Bradley, Wilson, Parkhill, Kelly, Friel.