COLERAINE would net five times in their last competitive outing against Ballinamallard United in February 2018…
Friday, February 16, 2018
Ballinamallard United 2-5 Coleraine
Goals – Curran (’31 mins & ’45 mins); Carson (’38 mins), McCauley (’40 mins), Bradley (’47 mins & ’78 mins), Burns (’83 mins)
FIVE star Coleraine move within two points of Crusaders as Eoin Bradley (2), Josh Carson, Darren McCauley and Aaron Burns were on the scoresheet at Ferney Park…
Both sides were denied by the woodwork in a bright opening in Fermanagh as Josh Carson’s dipping effort smashed the crossbar with the ‘keeper rooted on the spot. At the other end, Coleraine failed to clear their lines and the ball landed to Stephen O’Flynn who hit an effort off the post on 11 minutes.
The Stripes would get a foothold into the game and start to dominate with Jamie McGonigle having an effort blocked, before Eoin Bradley blazed over the bar after being found with a lovely pass from Lyndon Kane. Moments later, McGonigle had the ball in the penalty area but he failed to hit the target on two occasions.
Just after the half hour mark, Coleraine would fall behind as Josh Carson was adjudged to have fouled Jonathan Leddy inside the penalty area. This presented Ryan Curran with the perfect opportunity to give the Mallards the lead and he made no mistake. However, McGonigle should have equalised almost instantly as he seized on a defensive mistake and bore down on goal to only be denied by the post.
Oran Kearney’s men would level terms on 38 minutes as Darren McCauley’s cross found Bradley and his header provided Carson with an easy finish for his 7th goal of the season. This sparked Coleraine into life and they took the lead two minutes later as McCauley received a pass in the area, before arrowing a low effort into the net.
The Bannsiders should have added to their lead as Ciaron Harkin was denied by the legs of Brownlee and Bradley fired over the bar from a tight angle. They would rue those missed chances at the break as the Mallards were awarded a second penalty as Stephen O’Donnell brought down O’Flynn. Former Derry City man Curran once again made no mistake to restore parity at the break.
Whatever Oran Kearney told his players at the break had the desired effect as Coleraine took the lead two minutes into the second-half. A fantastic delivery from Darren McCauley found Bradley who nodded home. The visitors would waste a hatful of chances to strengthen their lead as McGonigle headed over, Smith had an effort blocked and McGonigle failed to get a vital touch to McCauley’s fantastic through ball.
The best chance for Gavin Dykes’ men arrived on 73 minutes as Leddy’s delivery found Ryan O’Reilly but somehow the defender failed to convert from close range. The Bannsiders were to receive a welcome boost on 75 minutes with the return of Brad Lyons from injury and things got better as Bradley scored a fantastic free-kick to make it 4-2 three minutes later.
On 81 minutes, Aaron Burns was introduced for his debut and the former Linfield man would have the final say on proceedings as the attacker received the ball, held off the defender and calmly finished into the corner for a dream start to life at The Showgrounds. It wasn’t to be McGonigle’s night as the striker hit wide as Coleraine ran out worthy winners.
BALLINAMALLARD UNITED: Brownlee, Kerr, O’Reilly, Mailey, McLaughlin, Hutchinson (Clarke ’83 mins), Leddy, McKenna (McGinty ’83 mins), Curran, Noble, O’Flynn (McIlwaine ’86 mins).
Subs Not Used: McCartney, Smyth.
COLERAINE: Johns, Kane, Harkin, McCauley, Smith (Lyons ’75 mins), Bradley (Burns ’81 mins), Carson (Parkhill ’75 mins), McConaghie, O’Donnell, Traynor, McGonigle.
Subs Not Used: Mullan, Douglas.
*Many thanks to Hunter McClelland for the research*