Hoping to make a ‘Point
COLERAINE make the lengthy trip to Warrenpoint Town tonight knowing that a solitary point will mathematically secure their top six position (KO 7:45pm)…
Danske Bank Premiership
The Bannsiders would lose last weekend against Portadown as second-half goals from Adam Salley and Harry Anderson done the damage at Shamrock Park. Oran Kearney’s men would enjoy the majority of the chances in the first-half but they couldn’t find a way past Jethren Barr. The result means Coleraine remain in sixth spot in the table ahead of the league split this weekend.
Warrenpoint Town are currently bottom of the Premiership standings – twelve points behind Portadown in 11th place. Barry Gray’s men looked like securing a share of the spoils through Ray O’Sullivan’s finish but they would suffer late heartache as Philip Lowry netted a last gasp winner. The ‘Point finish their 33 regulation games with a home clash against Linfield on Saturday.
The two clubs met at the end of October at The Showgrounds as Coleraine netted once in each half to record maximum points. The Bannsiders would hit the front after just six minutes as a clever ball released the run of Matthew Shevlin who was clean through on goal. The striker – who beat the offside trap – had the vision to see the onrushing Conor Mitchell come off his line and he delicately lobbed the ball over the ‘Point stopper. On 24 minutes, Kearney’s men thought they had a second goal to celebrate as Lyndon Kane’s cross met Friel at the back post and the striker comfortably dispatched into the back of the net. The striker – who thought he was going to make it two goals in his last two games – would have his joy short lived as the lineman’s raised his flag for offside. The Stripes wouldn’t have to wait long to add to their tally after the break as Shevlin couldn’t miss for his second of the afternoon on 52 minutes. A great passage of football involving Friel and McKendry saw the winger crossing for the ex-Ballymena man who fired in his tenth goal of the campaign.
Last month, Coleraine would face Warrenpoint Town for the first time in the BetMcLean League Cup as the two sides met in the semi-final stage of the competition at The Showgrounds. The hosts wouldn’t have to wait long to take the lead as Matthew Shevlin lobbed Conor Mitchell, and just after Gavin Peers was dismissed for ‘Point, the Stripes would make their numerical advantage count before the interval as Conor McKendry found the bottom corner. Oran Kearney’s men would move further ahead as Shevlin netted after the interval and the striker would complete his hat-trick after Kealan Dillon pulled a goal back for the visitors. Coleraine would add two further strikes from James McLaughlin and Jamie Glackin to set-up back-to-back League Cup finals.
In February, Coleraine would host ‘Point once again and the visitors would make all the early running in the opening 45 minutes as Luke Wade Slater would spurn two good chances, with Gareth Deane also called into action to tip Steven Ball’s free-kick around the post. The deadlock would be broken on 48 minutes as Jamie Glackin’s corner kick was deflected into his own net by Wade Slater. However, Barry Gray’s men would equalise on 73 minutes as Alan O’Sullivan’s turn and strike squirmed into the net. Just when the game looked like ending in a draw, the Stripes would secure all three points late on as Josh Carson’s cross was headed into his own goal by Daniel Byrne.
“I’m not sure,” said Kearney when asked if he will have players back for tonight’s contest.
“Shevy probably not, I think it’s a concussion so with the protocols and all that now it is a waiting game.
“Glacks’ ankle is up very high as well.
“We have two or three ones there that were on the bench that weren’t really available for us.
“It’ll be really tough because of the injuries we’ve picked up and I think we’ll have a couple of suspensions as well.
“Yes, it’s going to be tough but we’ve got to go there and you know we can only play 11 players, so it’s important that they stake a claim for what they want to do at the end of the season.”
The match referee will be Shane Andrews.
The assistant referees are Andrew Nethery and Bogdan Sfirloga.
Glenn Buchanan has been selected as the fourth official.
Coleraine supporters can buy tickets for the fixture which can be purchased HERE
However, a cash gate will also be in operation.
If you are not feeling yourself tomorrow afternoon and you have symptoms which you feel are similar to COVID-19, please stay away from the stadium and think of others.
If you have access to a lateral flow/PCR test at home, we would encourage you to check yourself before coming to the game.
If you have been in contact with a positive case and haven’t yet been contacted by track and trace, please do not come to the game.
As ever, those unable to watch the fixture can follow the latest developments via the club’s official Twitter account (@ColeraineFC).