COLERAINE will enjoy home advantage for the second week in succession as Larne are the visitors to The Showgrounds (KO 3pm)…
Danske Bank Premiership
Coleraine cut the gap at the top of the Danske Bank Premiership to three points last weekend after a 4-2 win against Crusaders. Despite falling behind to an early goal from Jamie McGonigle, the Bannsiders responded by scoring two goals in each half to run out 4-2 winners. As for Larne, they have made steady progress upon their return to the top flight and they were held to a goalless draw against Dungannon Swifts last time out.
The two sides have clashed three times in cup competitions in recent years with Coleraine being victorious in all three. In August 2017, the Stripes would seal a 4-1 success in a BetMcLean League Cup tie at The Showgrounds. The second meeting was in the semi-final of the Irish Cup in 2018 and it took until the second-half for the deadlock to be broken as Lyndon Kane rattled home from 25 yards, before two ex-Coleraine players combined for Larne’s equaliser as David McDaid equalised from David Scullion’s cross. The Stripes recovered from that setback and regained the lead as Gareth McConaghie headed home from a corner kick, with Josh Carson sealing the win as he remained ice-cool from the penalty spot. The two clubs would be paired in the quarter-final stage of the competition last year and Larne held a 3-2 lead after a hat-trick from McDaid, but Jamie McGonigle’s last gasp effort sent the tie into extra-time, which Coleraine won 5-3 at Inver Park.
Coleraine boss Oran Kearney will welcome back defenders Stephen O’Donnell and Adam Mullan who completed their suspensions against Crusaders last weekend. The Stripes were buoyed by the return of defender Aaron Traynor in the win against Crusaders, which means that James McLaughlin is the only player unavailable for the fixture.
“Larne are littered full of really good Irish League players who have been about this league for a long time,” Kearney said.
“There is no doubt about how tough a task it is going to be.
“The last couple of years we have fond memories of The Showgrounds, the atmosphere and the performances in some of the games we have had.
“This season we are trying to get that back again and get that buzz back.”
Supporters are reminded that entry is via valid matchday cards/season tickets only.
Admission for using a matchday card is £12 adults, £8 concessions.
As ever, those unable to attend can follow the latest developments from the fixture via the club’s official Twitter account (@ColeraineFC).