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Match Preview

Local Derby

COLERAINE and Portstewart lock horns in a derby affair at The Showgrounds as both clubs aim to reach the semi-final of the Eventsec North-West Cup (KO 7:45pm)…

Eventsec North-West Cup Quarter-Final

Overview:

After fulfilling recent European commitments, the Bannsiders now turn their preparations towards the start of the 2020/21 campaign. Oran Kearney’s men were defeated in last weekend’s pre-season clash against Annagh United, with further fixtures against Loughgall and Ballinamallard United pencilled into the diary.

As for Portstewart, they will be buoyed by last weekend’s win against Ardstraw in this season’s North-West Cup. There will be a few familiar faces in the Seahawks squad returning to The Showgrounds as Johnny Watt, Ryan Doherty and Darren Henderson, plus more are on the books at Seahaven.

Recent meetings:

In the last three years, the Wes Gregg Memorial Match has proven to be an entertaining affair as two fixtures have ended in 2-2 draws.

In 2017, a young Coleraine side trailed by two goals but fought back in the second-half to earn a share of the spoils.

Then, in 2018, Coleraine took an early lead through Jamie McGonigle’s powerful effort but strikes either side of half-time from Ryan Doherty and Lee Forgrave gave Portstewart the lead. However, the Stripes weren’t to be denied as McGonigle grabbed a second as he expertly headed home from Paul Owens’ delightful cross.

The current bragging rights are with Portstewart as a brace from Zach Barr – either side of James McLaughlin’s cool finish – gave Johnny Law’s the win in July last year.

Manager’s Thoughts:

“The timing of this year’s competition helps,” Kearney said.

“It will be competitive as I’m sure Portstewart will come here and be up for it.

“For us it will count as competitive games and Skinner has a six game ban to fulfill and ideally for us, we want to get through to the next round.

“If we can go a couple of rounds in it and get to the final – it would kill three games of his ban.

“It will also do no harm as people need minutes as well.”

Admission:

Tickets will go on sale from 5pm this evening via the Club Shop, with admission prices set at £7 adults and £5 concessions.

The Club encourage those who are attending to read the following matchday information HERE.

As ever, those unable to attend the fixture can follow the latest developments via the club’s official Twitter account (@ColeraineFC).