COLERAINE stepped up their preparations for the forthcoming Europa League preliminary round by hosting H&W Welders at The Showgrounds…
The Bannsiders wore their new third kit for the fixture and almost took the lead on seven minutes as Aaron Jarvis’ effort looked destined to find the back of the net but the midfielder would be denied by the crossbar.
On 12 minutes, Coleraine had goalkeeper Martin Gallagher to thank as the shot stopper reacted superbly to deny Matthew Ferguson’s header after the ex-Glenavon striker had be found by Alan McMurtry’s cross.
Minutes later, the Stripes would threaten as Eoin Bradley sent a free-kick over the crossbar, before Josh Carson failed to test Michael Doherty – who had been loaned to the Welders for the day – from distance.
After a pause in proceedings for a water break, Coleraine should have the hit the front on 29 minutes as Stewart Nixon’s superb cross found Bradley but the marksman failed to convert from close range. However, the deadlock would be broken on 33 minutes as a rasping drive from Ben Doherty found the back of the net.
There would be two further chances before the break as Gallagher comfortably gathered Michael McLellan’s free-kick, with Bradley firing wide at the other end.
Bannsiders boss Oran Kearney made two changes at the break as Curtis Allen and James McLaughlin replaced Bradley and Jarvis, with the substitutions almost paying dividends straight away as Allen teed up McLaughlin but Doherty saved.
A minute later, the visitors would draw themselves level as Lukasz Gwiazda’s cross found Ross Arthurs at the back post and his header forced Stephen O’Donnell into scoring an own goal. Four minutes later, Welders would spurn a great chance to take the lead as Ferguson failed to convert from close range.
Just before the hour mark, the Bannsiders would regain the lead as Aaron Traynor’s cross found McLaughlin inside the box and the predatory striker would find the bottom corner. That lead was further strengthened on 63 minutes as a fantastic cross from Doherty found O’Donnell inside the box and the captain headed past Doherty.
With a little more than twenty minutes remaining, Kearney introduced some fresh legs as Jay Riley, Lewis Tosh, Evan Tweed and Ian Parkhill were all introduced from the bench. The last chance of note would arrive at the feet of Allen but his long range drive sailed wide.
COLERAINE: Gallagher, Kane (Riley ’68 mins), Douglas, Jarvis (Allen ’46 mins), Doherty, Lowry, Bradley (McLaughlin ’46 mins), Carson (Parkhill ’68 mins), O’Donnell (Tosh ’68 mins), Traynor, Nixon (Tweed ’68 mins).
H&W WELDERS: Doherty, McMurtry, Dornan, McMillan, Wright, Harris, Deans, Arthurs, Davidson, Ferguson, McLellan.
Subs Used: Tommons, Gwiadza, Grierson, Nelson, McMurray.
Referee: Gary Ewan