Sports Direct Premiership: Matchday 28

Cliftonville 4 - 1 Coleraine
10 Feb 2024 - 15:00Solitude

CLIFTONVILLE produced a clinical performance in front of goal as the Bannsiders were beaten 4-1 at Solitude…

The Stripes received a blow before a ball was kicked as defensive duo Stephen O’Donnell and Dean Jarvis were ruled out through injury, meaning Darren Cole and Lyndon Kane returned to the back four.

The visitors would make a bright start to proceedings and threatened twice within the first five minutes as Conor McKendry had a 25-yard effort saved, before the same player forced a corner with another long-range strike.

Cliftonville – who were unbeaten in their last 14 games – threatened on 7 minutes as Sam Ashford’s cross was on the money for Rory Hale but the midfielder sent his header over the crossbar.

However, Jim Magilton’s side would go ahead on 11 minutes as ‘keeper Rory Brown unfortunately slipped whilst on the ball which allowed Ronan Hale to convert a simple tap-in.

The task would become even tougher on 22 minutes as Cliftonville doubled their advantage. A cut-back from Ronan Hale found Shea Kearney just inside the box and the full-back arrowed a strike into the bottom corner.

The Stripes would create numerous half chances before break as Lee Lynch had a strike deflected wide, Matthew Shevlin headed off target, Graham Kelly headed over from Jack Scott’s cross, with McKendry seeing a well-hit half volley go inches wide of the far post.

Coleraine made a bright start to the second-half and halved the deficit with 50 minutes on the clock. Good work by McKendry and Lynch picked out Shevlin, and after his header was expertly saved by David Odumosu, the alert Jamie McGonigle was on hand to prod home from close range.

Unfortunately, that hard work would be extinguished just two minutes later as Cliftonville regained their two-goal cushion. A long throw into the area wasn’t defended by Coleraine and this allowed Sam Ashford to pick his spot in the far corner.

After McKendry fizzed an effort just wide, the hosts would go close at the other end as Ashford teed up Rory Hale at the edge of the box but the midfielder scooped over.

The Reds would have to finish the contest with 10 men as Odhran Casey was dismissed for two yellow cards on 80 minutes, with Coleraine missing a big chance from the resulting free-kick as Shevlin headed into the gloves of Odumosu.

Despite being a man down, the Reds would give their fans a fourth goal to celebrate as the industrious Rory Hale seized possession deep in the Coleraine half and curled an unstoppable effort beyond the reach of Brown.

CLIFTONVILLE: Odumosu, Addis, Rory Hale, Mallon (Stewart ‘60 mins), Gordon (C. Curran ‘76 mins), Doherty, Burns, Ashford (Gormley ‘76 mins), Casey, Ronan Hale (Wilson ‘60 mins) {Pepper ‘86 mins}, Kearney.

Subs Not Used: Donnelly (GK), Yoro.

COLERAINE: Brown, Kane, Kelly, McKendry, Shevlin, Carson (A. Jarvis ‘51 mins), Farren, Lynch, J. Scott, McGonigle, Cole (A. Scott ‘76 mins).

Subs Not Used: Gallagher (GK), Lowry, McDaid, O’Mahony, Devine.

Referee: Lee Tavinder