COLERAINE got some valuable minutes in the bank as defensive mistakes cost them dear in a pre-season defeat to Annagh United…
Bannsiders boss Oran Kearney fielded a team that was a blend of youth and experience as teenagers Jay Riley, Lewis Tosh and Caiolan Brennan were all given a chance to impress.
The first chance arrived on 12 minutes at a sun-drenched Showgrounds as Josh Carson arrowed a free-kick wide of the near post. A minute later, Tosh and Brennan combined on the left-hand-side with the winger’s shot sailing harmlessly over the crossbar.
Annagh United – who were promoted to the Championship last season – had their ‘keeper to thank on 21 minutes as he made a superb stop to deny Howard Beverland from close range. However, the deadlock was broken on 22 minutes as a fantastic pass by Beverland released the run of Jamie Glackin and he powered into the back of the net.
After imposing themselves into the game, the visitors would be awarded a penalty on 40 minutes as Lewis Tosh was adjudged to have handled inside the box. The ball was picked up by Thomas Stewart who comfortably dispatched the spot kick.
It would prove to be a three minute spell that the Bannsiders would want to forget as the Mid-Ulster side took the lead before the half-time whistle. The lively Craig Taylor robbed Beverland in possession, and after his initial effort cannoned off the post, he was there to tap home the rebound.
Oran Kearney shuffled his pack at half-time with the introduction of Jay Riley, Stephen O’Donnell, Ronan Wilson, Ben Doherty and James McLaughlin.
On 50 minutes, there would be a second penalty of the afternoon as Annagh stopper Hughes brought down Doherty leaving the referee in no hesitation in pointing to the spot. The task was given to Doherty himself who made no mistake from 12 yards.
However, the scores were only level for seven minutes as another defensive error was seized upon by Annagh and Stewart grabbed his second goal of the afternoon as he powered home from just inside the area.
Coleraine searched hard for an equaliser as Tosh had an effort saved by the ‘keeper, before McLaughlin went inches away from connecting with Doherty’s cross. However, United almost stretched their lead with two minutes to go as Taylor’s effort smashed against the crossbar.
COLERAINE: Gallagher, Kane (Riley ’46 mins), Lowry (Doherty ’46 mins), Carson, McConaghie (O’Donnell ’46 mins), Tweed (McLaughlin ’46 mins), Parkhill, Glackin, Beverland, Brennan, Tosh (Wilson ’46 mins).
ANNAGH UNITED: Hughes, McKinney, McCaffrey, Campbell, Upton, Holmes, McDonald, Stewart, Duffin, Richardson, Taylor.
Used Subs: Woods, D. Gordon, A Gordon, Kerr, Eagle, Coleman, Shortt.
Referee: Diarmuid Harrigan