JAMIE Glackin’s first-half strike was enough to give Coleraine a pre-season victory against Stranraer at Stair Park…
On a sunny day, it was the Scottish League One side who made a brighter start to proceedings and they threatened on nine minutes as James Hilton’s 25-yard effort sailed wide, before a long run and cross by ex-Coleraine defender Jordan Allan resulted in Leon Murphy hitting over the crossbar.
On 18 minutes, Coleraine had ‘keeper Chris Johns to thank as he managed to hold Adam Cummins’ header from a corner-kick.
The Bannsiders would hit the front against the run of play on 23 minutes as Josh Carson split the Stranraer defence with a superb ball. Despite the home side’s appeal for an offside decision, the flag remained down and Ian Parkhill unselfishly squared the ball to Jamie Glackin who couldn’t miss.
Stranraer would try and find an equaliser before the half-time whistle as Hilton miscued wide, Ryan Thomson had a goal bound effort blocked by the legs of Stephen O’Donnell, before Johns made an acrobatic save to deny Carlo Pignitiello.
Bannsiders boss Oran Kearney made four substitutions at the break as Gareth McConaghie, Andrew Whiteside, Aaron Burns and James McLaughlin were all utilised from the bench.
Stranraer striker David Dangana made an immediate impact from the bench, turning neatly before his run down the byline ended in a collision with Adam Mullan, but the referee waved away his penalty appeals.
Coleraine went on the search for a second goal and it almost arrived on 50 minutes as Burns neatly rolled the ball onto his left foot, but the ex-Linfield man failed to find the target. The Stripes would threaten from two free-kicks as Dean Burgess was alert to prevent strikes from Gareth McConaghie and Josh Carson.
On 84 minutes, Coleraine should have put the game to bed as McLaughlin, Glackin and Burns all teamed up to release Doherty inside the area but he was denied by the body of Burgess.
There would be a late drama as Stranraer were awarded a dubious late penalty as Stephen O’Donnell was adjudged to have handled Pigniatiello’s shot. Thankfully for Coleraine, the Blues would miss their penalty as Cummins fired his strike over the crossbar.
It meant the travelling Coleraine crowd would celebrate a win from their first pre-season fixture ahead of clashes against Moyola Park and Limavady United this week.
STRANRAER: Currie (Burgees ’46 mins), Robertson, Allan, Cummins, Hamilton, McManus, Hilton (Smith ’60 mins), Stewart (Elliot ’60 mins), Murphy (Dangana ’46 mins), Pigniatiello, Thomson (Trialist ’60 mins).
COLERAINE: Johns, Canning, Mullan, Douglas (McConaghie ’46 mins), Doherty, Shiels (Whiteside ’46 mins), E. Bradley (Burns ’46 mins), Carson, Parkhill (McLaughlin ’46 mins), Glackin, O’Donnell.
Subs Not Used: Purcell (GK), J. Bradley.
Referee: Craig Napier