COLERAINE are on their travels this Friday evening as the take on Ballinamallard United at Ferney Park (KO 7:45pm)…
The Bannsiders dominated proceedings last weekend against Glenavon but failed to take all three points against Gary Hamilton’s men. This means that Coleraine now trail Crusaders by five points as the chase for the Gibson Cup heats up. As for Ballinamallard, they will be looking to respond from a recent defeat against Glentoran, but will come into the fixture fresh after their weekend fixture against Ballymena was postponed.
The Stripes have recorded maximum points from the two meetings between the sides this season. In October, an own goal and a strike from Joe McCready helped the Bannsiders to a 2-1 win, before Ian Parkhill and Brad Lyons struck as Coleraine ran out 2-0 winners in Fermanagh in December.
Coleraine manager Oran Kearney will run his eye over the fitness of Brad Lyons and Aaron Burns as the duo return from injury. It is expected that Stephen Dooley may also miss out as he tries to overcome an ankle injury sustained against Glentoran. Furthermore, James McLaughlin is also ruled out with a cruciate knee injury.
Kearney has urged his players to pick up as many points as possible in the final 10 games of the season.
“We have 30 points to play for and there will be a lot of twists and turns left,” Kearney said.
“The job for us in the next 10 games is to pick up as many three points as we can, and if and when Crusaders drop points, we need to make sure we are the first team they see and the gap closes.
“That starts on Friday night against Ballinamallard, we need to go there and get the three points with Crusaders not in league action.
“If I get another 10 of those performances like we did against Glenavon, we won’t be too far away.”
As ever, those unable to attend can follow the latest updates via the club’s official Twitter account (@ColeraineFC).