Wes Gregg Memorial Match

Portstewart 1 - 5 Coleraine
28 Jul 2023 - 19:30Seahaven

IMPRESSIVE performances from Aaron Jarvis and Andy Mitchell allowed Coleraine to come out 5-1 victors against Portstewart in the annual Wes Gregg Memorial match…

By: Charlie Cooke

As Oran Kearney split his squad in two once again the contest allowed many of the club’s U20 squad to gain first-team experience alongside the likes of Martin Gallagher, Aaron Jarvis, Michael McCrudden, Jack O’Mahony and Andy Mitchell.

On seven minutes, Rory Moffatt and Luca Doherty worked together down the left wing of the opposition’s half which saw the latter attempt to cross the ball. However, the cross was blocked and the ball ran out of play for a corner which came to nothing.

Two minutes later, a piece of tidy defending from Luke Kelly saw the youngster slide in to divert the ball out for a corner for the Seahawks. A dangerous ball delivered from the corner found a free Portstewart player, but luckily for the Bannsiders, the header was well wide of the mark.

Just before the quarter hour mark, a well-placed cross from Jack O’Mahony saw Doherty met the ball but he was extremely unlucky not to see his shot end up in the back of the as it deflected off his knee before he could get clean strike at the ball.

With 18 minutes played there was a smooth piece of passing play orchestrated by the Bannsiders which found Ronan Wilson in space at the edge of Seahawks box. This allowed the L/Derry native to turn on the spot and have shot which was well saved by the Portstewart goalkeeper.

Soon after, the Bannsiders were awarded a free kick on the left wing a couple yards outside the box. A good cross from Doherty found Mitchell’s head as the ball deflected for a Coleraine corner, although the set piece was crossed in too deep as it evaded everyone in a Coleraine shirt.

On 23 minutes, the Bannsiders went in front as a cross from the left wing by Doherty found McCrudden who had his shot saved by combination of the post and the Seahawks ‘keeper but Michell’s effort sneaked over the line.

With half an hour played, Portstewart equalised after a brilliant cross was put in from the left wing which saw Paul Smith divert the ball with his head into the bottom right corner.

Two minutes later, Mitchell did brilliantly as he made space for himself to charge on to the right wing, he fired the across into the box which found Doherty who saw his shot well saved by the Seahawks ‘keeper.

With four minutes left of the first-half, Mitchell is found in space again as he ran forward and found himself one-on-one with the Seahawks ‘keeper but his low effort sailed by the post.

Three minutes into the second half, a Portstewart player found himself in space but before there was any danger, Zac Dealey slid in with a well-timed tackle.

With 51 minutes played, substitute Jake Martin and Doherty work together which saw the latter go close only for the ball to be gathered by the ‘keeper. Sixty seconds later, Doherty went on a solo run which saw him find space in box but his attempt was wide of the post.

Just before the hour mark, Aaron Jarvis made it 2-1 after O’Mahony ran into the box and squared the ball low across the box that found Jarvis by himself and he fired it into the middle of the net.

The lead was nearly doubled as a ball sent over the top the Seahawks defence found Doherty but the Portstewart ‘keeper had come of his line and tried to make a clearance. Despite that attempt at an interception, the ball was retained by the Bannsiders woth Doherty unselfishly finding Mitchell but the Seahawks ‘keeper got back on his to make the save.

With 63 minutes played, Coleraine were awarded a free-kick outside the box after a rash challenge by a Portstewart player. Mitchell stepped up and calmly finished the set-piece into the top left corner to make it 3-1 to the Bannsiders.

Five minutes later, Martin won a free=kick on the left wing at the edge of the Portstewart box. A delivery from Doherty found the head of Jarvis who scored his second of the match to make it 4-1 to the Bannsiders.

On 69 minutes, Coleraine were awarded a penalty after a cross from the left wing was blocked by an outstretched hand of Seahawks defender. Jarvis stepped up rounding off his hat-trick as he expertly dispatched the penalty making it 5-1 to Coleraine.

With 15 minutes left to be played, a Portstewart attacker found themselves one-on-one with Gallagher but the shot stopper made the save look easy.

A five goal win for the Stripes against our near neighbours as Wes Gregg’s memory lives on.

COLERAINE: Gallagher, L. Kelly, Dealey, McCloskey, Moffatt, O’Mahony, A. Jarvis, McCrudden (Martin ’43 mins), Wilson, Mitchell, Doherty (Kirk ’88 mins).

Sub Not Used: Dennison.