Sports Direct Premiership: Matchday 24

Coleraine 1 - 3 Loughgall
30 Dec 2023 - 15:00The Showgrounds

COLERAINE would end 2023 on a losing note as they fell to a 3-1 defeat against Loughgall at The Showgrounds…

By: Charlie Cooke

On a cold afternoon on the Ballycastle Road, boss Oran Kearney made three changes which saw Lee Lynch replace Jamie Glackin, Ciaran O’Hara came in for the suspended Conor McKendry and David McDaid returned from suspension to replace Andy Mitchell who named on the bench.

In a first-half of very few chances, Loughgall would go close just before the 20 minute mark as the ball was worked to Andy Hoey who fizzed an effort just inches wide of the far post.

However, Loughgall would take the lead on 37 minutes following a devastating counter-attack. After defending their own corner-kick, a fantastic ball by Alberto Balde found in-form Benji Magee and he ran through on goal before sliding the ball into the bottom corner.

At the start of the second-half, Dean Jarvis would have a strike comfortably caught by Turker but Coleraine would equalise with 51 minutes on the clock. A through ball by Aaron Jarvis was seized upon by Lee Lynch and he picked out McDaid inside the box who was able to stab the ball home from close range.

Despite getting that equaliser, Loughgall would go ahead once more less than 60 seconds later. A deep cross into the delivery found Nathaniel Ferris and the big striker was able to get a meaningful touch onto the ball to send it over the line via the post.

Just past the hour mark, Loughgall would be awarded a penalty after a mis-timed slide tackle by Dean Jarvis on Magee, leaving referee Tony Clarke no hesitation in pointing to the spot. Ferris would dispatch the resulting spot-kick below the body of Deane for 3-1.

Coleraine looked for an instant response to get back into the contest but Aaron Jarvis and Lyndon Kane both had efforts that failed to find the back of the net.

The Bannsiders take a break from Premiership duty next weekend as they face Cliftonville in the fifth round of the Irish Cup.

COLERAINE: Deane, Kane, D. Jarvis, A. Jarvis, McDaid, Farren, Lynch, Cole (Harkin ‘75 mins), O’Mahony (Lowry ‘46 mins), Scott, O’Hara (Mitchell ‘46 mins).

Subs Not Used: Gallagher (GK), Wallace, McCrudden, Devine.

LOUGHGALL: Turker, Rea, Murdock, Brogan, Kelly, Andrade, Ferris (Boyd ‘80 mins), Hoey  (Teggart ‘71 mins), Balde (Teggart ‘80 mins), Magee, Loughran.

Subs Not Used: Devine (GK), Carson, Norton, Gibson.

Referee: Tony Clarke