A late own goal would be prove to be the difference as Coleraine edged out Linfield at The Showgrounds…
Saturday, October 26, 2019
Coleraine 1-0 Linfield
Goal – Stafford OG (’82 mins)
COLERAINE maintained their unbeaten start to the league as a late own goal by Mark Stafford earned the Bannsiders all three points against Linfield…
After a convincing win over Crusaders last weekend, Bannsiders boss Oran Kearney kept faith with the same starting eleven that was victorious in North Belfast.
In front of a bumper crowd on the North Coast, it would be the home side who threatened first after only two minutes as a delivery into the box by Lyndon Kane met Aaron Traynor, but the full-back’s diving header lacked conviction and Rohan Ferguson was on hand to make a routine save.
A minute later, Ferguson was called into action once again as neat build-up play by the hosts resulted in Jamie Glackin passing the ball through to Ben Doherty, but the in-form midfielder was denied his tenth goal of the season by the legs of the Linfield stopper.
In a bright opening 15 minutes for Kearney’s men, Traynor tried his luck from distance but his strike failed to hit target, before a volley on the turn by Doherty sailed inches wide of the far post with Ferguson beaten.
Linfield – who heavily beat Warrenpoint Town on Tuesday night – almost broke the deadlock against the run of play as the ball landed at the feet of Bastien Hery and his 25-yard effort cannoned off the post as Coleraine blew a sigh of relief.
On 20 minutes, Coleraine would squander the chance to take the lead as Bradley showed great awareness and strength to evade the challenge of Jimmy Callacher, but the striker would be denied at close range by Ferguson, with Traynor’s rebound blocked by the Linfield rearguard.
Both sides would create half chances before the break as Hery’s drive was well handled by Johns, while at the other end, Josh Carson’s long range effort whistled past the right hand post with Ferguson at full stretch.
Coleraine almost edged ahead on 52 minutes in bizarre circumstances as Ferguson was robbed in possession by Bradley, but the stopper made amends by blocking the striker’s effort from close range. At the other end, Shayne Lavery played a neat one-two and cut inside but the Northern Ireland international failed to hit the target.
Stripes boss Oran Kearney introduced James McLaughlin from the bench and the substitute made an immediate impact as his strike sailed wide of the far post.
Chances were at a premium as the game entered the last 10 minutes but the deadlock would be broken on 82 minutes. A fantastic delivery by Jamie Glackin forced Mark Stafford to head into his own goal to send the Railway End into raptures.
David Healy’s men would have one final chance to grab a point as substitute Jordan Stewart let fly from distance, and as the ball looked destined to find the target, Bannsiders defender Lyndon Kane was on hand to avert the danger as Coleraine held firm.
COLERAINE: Johns, Kane, Mullan, Canning, Jarvis, Doherty, Lowry, Bradley, Carson (McLaughlin ’62 mins), Glackin, Traynor.
Subs Not Used: Gallagher (GK), Douglas, McConaghie, Parkhill, McGuckin, Maciulaitis.
LINFIELD: Ferguson, Stafford, Callacher, Hery (Shevlin ’83 mins), Cooper (Stewart ’78 mins), Millar, Lavery (Waterworth ’81 mins), Fallon, Mulgrew, McGivern, Quinn.
Subs Not Used: Deane (GK), Larkin, Clarke, Mitchell.