Match Preview

Friday Improvement

COLERAINE will be looking for a better result in the latest instalment of Friday night football as they make the trip to Ards this evening (KO 8pm)…

The Bannsiders have been beaten in their last two Friday night games against Newry City and Glenavon but come into the fixture in fine form after four wins and two draws in the last six games. The Irish Cup holders had to settle for a point last Saturday as Niall Grace’s stunning strike earned Glenavon a share of the spoils after Eoin Bradley had broken the deadlock. As for Ards, they remain at the foot of the Danske Bank Premiership after a 4-1 loss to Cliftonville at Solitude.

This will be the third meeting between the two sides this season and the Bannsiders’ second trip to the Bangor Fuels Arena. The first was back in September as Coleraine were held to a 0-0 draw, before Jamie McGonigle’s header edged out Colin Nixon’s men in December. Ards have been busy in the transfer window as Daryl Evans, Brendan Bennett, Jonathan Smith, Eoghan McCawl and ex-Bannsider Darren Henderson have all joined the club.

Coleraine boss Rodney McAree will have latest signings Cormac Burke and Dylan Davidson at his disposal, as well as Graham Crown and James McLaughlin who have recovered from injury. However, there is no such joy for Lyndon Kane, Aaron Traynor, Aaron Burns and Alex Gawne who remain on the sidelines.

Speaking ahead of the fixture, boss McAree has challenged his players to bank as many points as possible from the next three league fixtures.

“We’ve a run of games coming up against Ards and Dungannon Swifts twice and we have to make the most of them,” he added.

“They’re not easy games, but we have to challenge ourselves to pick as many points up as possible.

“Our last two Friday night games haven’t been good enough, and we haven’t played well enough in those games and we haven’t competed well enough.

“We will changed our preparation slightly this week and make sure we’re not taking our eye off the ball.”

As ever, those unable to attend can follow the latest developments via the club’s official Twitter account (@ColeraineFC).