Sports Direct Premiership: Matchday 14

Coleraine 1 - 2 Cliftonville
28 Oct 2023 - 15:00The Showgrounds

A much-improved performance by the Bannsiders saw Oran Kearney’s side beaten 2-1 by a more decisive Cliftonville at The Showgrounds…

By: Charlie Cooke

Oran Kearney made two changes to Coleraine’s starting line-up as the suspended Matthew Shevlin was replaced by David McDaid who led the line. The other change was Lee Lynch who was replaced by Jake Wallace as Lyndon Kane was push forward into midfield.

With five minutes on the clock, Conor McKendry pounced on a rebounding ball just outside the visitors’ penalty area but his half volley could only clip the top of the crossbar.

Soon after, McKendry would have another sight of goal as his shot from just outside the box forced David Odumosu into a save as the stopper palmed away his effort.

On 19 minutes, Jamie Glackin found himself in space with ball at his feet, he dribbled to just outside the box, but unfortunately he saw his effort drift just wide of the post.

With 39 minutes played, a bit of combination play from David McDaid and Andy Scott saw McDaid’s shot blocked from close range as Scott crossed the ball into the box from the left wing. Moments later, Glackin drove into the box and forced Odumosu into another save this time at his near post.

The final action of the first-half saw McKendry cut in from the right wing with a showcase of his magic feet to keep the ball from the Cliftonville defence. The 25-year-old laid the ball back to Josh Carson whose shot rose over the crossbar.

After a slow start to the second half, Cliftonville would go 1-0 ahead on 57 minutes as Shea Kearney’s cross picked out an unmarked Ben Wilson at the back post from the right wing, with the striker’s sweet volley finding the back of the net.

With 65 minutes played, Dean Jarvis drilled the ball low into the box from the left-wing aimed at McDaid. The striker let the ball run through his legs but there wasn’t a player in a blue and white shirt in the space behind him. Moments later, after some excellent hold up by McDaid, he found McKendry in the box but he was denied by Odumosu.

However, that pressure paid off as Coleraine equalised on 68 minutes. After Scott was tackled on the left wing, the ball was collected by Kane who picked out McKendry inside the box. The winger showed calm and quality to beat his marker and blast the ball into the back of the net via the underside of the crossbar.

With the momentum seemingly with the Bannsiders, Glackin picked the ball up from a throw-in, ran forward and passed the ball to McDaid inside the box. The ex-Cliftonville man found Scott in space but the winger’s effort lacked any conviction as Odumosu held comfortably.

That big chance was punished at the other end as Sam Ashford put Cliftonville back in front on 78 minutes. A nice bit of skill from Stephen Mallon allowed the winger to burst inside the Coleraine penalty area and he squared for fellow substitute Ashford who slotted past an outstretched Gareth Deane.

The last action of the game saw the Bannsiders awarded a free-kick after McKendry was fouled 25 yards from goal. The resulting set-piece was taken by Carson who could only watch on in anguish as his attempt came back off the crossbar.

After that encouraging performance in a result that just didn’t go out our way, the Bannsiders are on the road again as we visit Seaview to take on Crusaders next Saturday.

COLERAINE: Deane, Kane, D. Jarvis, Kelly, McKendry, McDaid, Carson, Farren, Glackin, Wallace, Scott (Mitchell ‘81 mins).

Subs Not Used: Gallagher (GK), A. Jarvis, Lynch, O’Mahony, McCrudden, Harkin.

CLIFTONVILLE: Odumosu, Addis, Gallagher, Rory Hale (Mallon ’56 mins), Jordan (Lowe ’56 mins), Doherty, Gormley (Ronan Hale ’56 mins), Casey, Turner, Kearney, Wilson (Ashford ‘75 mins)

Subs Not Used: Gartside (GK), Kenny, Pepper.

Referee: Tim Marshall