COLERAINE recorded a second successive win from their pre-season schedule as they ran out comprehensive winners at Mill Meadow…
After surviving an early scare from Moyola, the Bannsiders settled quickly and threatened after three minutes when James McLaughlin headed wide from Ian Parkhill’s corner-kick. A minute later, a long ball caused confusion in Moyola’s box, with Parkhill smashing the crossbar and Burns’ follow-up failing to find the target.
The crossbar would be shaking again on six minutes as McLaughlin’s clever flick from a McGonigle shot cannoned off the woodwork. However, the opening goal arrived on eight minutes as Gareth McConaghie headed home from Parkhill’s corner-kick.
Moyola tried to play football of their own and threatened on 14 minutes as a quick free-kick released Chris Dowie but he fired over. On 21 minutes, Coleraine thought they had stretched their lead as a strong run and cross by Aaron Burns found McLaughlin but the marksman was denied at close range by the keeper.
Moments later, McLaughlin wouldn’t be denied as the striker let fly from distance which left the Moyola keeper rooted to the spot to stretch the visitors’ advantage. To their credit, Moyola pulled a goal back in spectacular fashion as a long ball wasn’t defended well and Dowie’s expert half volley found the back of the net.
Oran Kearney’s men would be denied by the woodwork on two further occasions before the half-time whistle as McGonigle’s effort struck the crossbar, before Stephen O’Donnell’s header rattled the post.
The Stripes made two changes at the break with Adam Mullan and Ben Doherty being utilised from the bench and it didn’t take long for a third goal to arrive as Parkhill stabbed home at the third attempt after his initial effort hit the crossbar.
The second-half failed to spark into life as both sides made a host of changes but the Bannsiders threatened late on as a strong run by Parkhill found Jack Bradley inside the box, but the midfielder could only prod over with the goal at his mercy.
At the death, McLaughlin would have a goal ruled out for a foul, with Parkhill’s looping cross turning into a shot which had to be turned around for a corner-kick. From that resulting set-piece, Graham Crown rose highest but failed to keep his header on target.
A good work-out for the Bannsiders who now face Limavady United next.
COLERAINE: Johns, Douglas (Mullan ’46 mins), McLaughlin, Crown, McConaghie, Burns, O’Donnell, Parkhill, McGonigle (E. Bradley ’66 mins), Burke (Doherty ’46 mins), Whiteside (J. Bradley ’75 mins).
Subs Not Used: Purcell (GK), Glackin.