COLERAINE were beaten 3-1 by Linfield in convincing fashion as the two teams squared off at The Showgrounds…
By: Charlie Cooke
There were two changes made to Coleraine’s starting line-up that saw both Matthew Shevlin and Dean Jarvis return from time on the sidelines due to injury. The players that they replaced Graham Kelly and Andrew Mitchell were named on the substitutes bench.
Linfield made the score line 1-0 on with 13 minutes played as Kyle McClean received the ball from a throw in on the right wing. The midfielder took his shot from the edge of the Bannsiders penalty area which found the back of the net with a crisp finish.
On 24 minutes, Coleraine had their most meaningful bit of attacking play as Conor McKendry found Shevlin with a cross driven low into the Blues box. The striker’s first-time shot was a couple yards wide of the post. Just after that faze of play, Kane and McKendry combined which saw the former have his long range that went well wide of the post.
With half an hour played, Andy Scott cut in from the left wing, found himself in space just outside the Linfield box but his shot was well caught by Chris Johns.
The last action of the first half saw Lee Lynch cut in from the left wing and drive forward into the centre of midfield. The Limerick native found Jamie Glackin who picked out McKendry and the winger had a low driven shot from an acute angle that went by the post and out for a goal kick.
On 53 minutes, Jamie Glackin scored the equaliser for the Bannsiders, a deep cross from a corner saw the ball evade everyone but David McDaid was at the back post, and he headed the ball across the goal into a bundle of Coleraine players. Jamie got the last touch before the ball went over the line for 1-1.
Ten minutes later, Linfield were awarded a penalty after McClean was adjudged to have been fouled by Kane inside the box.. Chris Shields took the penalty and converted from the spot to make it 2-1 to Linfield.
Soon after, the Bannsiders showed their fighting spirit as Andy Scott forced Chris Johns into a diving save as the winger saw his shot from just outside the box pushed out for a corner by the fingertips of Johns.
With 72 minutes played, Cooper ran into the Coleraine penalty area and fired a dangerous low ball across the box that found the on-rushing Chris McKee, who made no mistake to double Linfield’s advantage.
As the game entered the latter stages, McKendry made a vital goal saving block to thwart Cooper, before Shields saw his rebound go wide of the post.
The last action of the game saw Jack O’Mahony’s cross from the left wing finding Shevlin in space, however, the marksman saw his effort sail well past the post.
The Bannsiders take a break from the Irish League next Saturday as we play Hamilton Academical in the SPFL Trust Trophy at 3pm at The Showgrounds.
COLERAINE: Deane, Kane, D. Jarvis, A. Jarvis, McKendry, Shevlin, McDaid (Harkin ’73 mins), Lynch (O’Mahony ’83 mins), Glackin, Cole, Scott (Mitchell ’83 mins).
Subs Not Used: Gallagher (GK), Kelly, Carson, Devine.
LINFIELD: Johns, Finlayson, Newberry, Shields, Scott, McClean, Cooper, Hall, Clarke, McKee (Fitzpatrick ’85 mins), Mulgrew (Fallon ’78 mins)
Subs Not Used: Walsh (GK), Millar, McBrien, McKay, Archer.
Referee: Lee Tavinder