COLERAINE are on their travels for the first time this month as they face Glentoran at The Oval this evening (KO 7:45pm)…
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Coleraine come into the contest buoyed after winning their first game in seven matches against Newry City last weekend. Goals from Josh Carson, Matthew Shevlin and Andy Mitchell sealed the 3-1 success at The Showgrounds – with Lee Newell on target for the visitors. The Stripes welcomed back Stephen Lowry back into the fold as injury concerns remain over a few players.
Glentoran were held to a goalless draw against Dungannon Swifts at The Oval last weekend. Warren Feeney’s side have amassed 17 points from their games so far this season. The Glens were busy adding to their squad in the summer transfer window as David Fisher (AFC Wimbledon), Josh Kelly (Ballymena United), Daire O’Connor (Ayr United), Cammy Palmer (Glentoran) and Fuad Sule (Larne) all made the switch to The Oval.
Coleraine and Glentoran would square off four times last season as the Bannsiders would lose twice at The Oval, whilst both games would end in draws at The Showgrounds.
Coleraine would travel to The Oval in September last year and they would suffer a 1-0 defeat in east Belfast. In a low key opening 45 minutes, the first chance would land at the feet of Conor McMenamin but the winger would see his drive well saved by Martin Gallagher. Minutes later, Glentoran would go close again as Shay McCartan’s run and strike from just outside the box went inches wide of the near post. After the Bannsiders would see a penalty appeal come and go through as Matthew Shevlin went to ground, the Glens would take the lead on 62 minutes as McMenamin was in the right place at the right time to bag after Jay Donnelly saw a close range attempt saved. Coleraine introduced Michael McCrudden from the bench and the striker would have the Stripes’ last chance of the game as he blazed over from Lyndon Kane’s cross.
In November last year, Coleraine and Glentoran would lock horns at The Showgrounds as both defences would ultimately end up on top. The visitors would create the first two chances of the contest as Daniel Purkis hit straight at Gareth Deane, before the stopper had to stand firm to palm away Conor McMenamin’s effort. The Bannsiders would grow into the fixture and forged two opportunities in as many minutes as Matthew Shevlin’s hit the post, with Aaron Jarvis then testing the gloves of Aaron McCarey moments later. The first-half would end with two contentious decisions as Bobby Burns and Dean Jarvis would be booked for challenges on Aaron Jarvis and Conor McMenamin respectively. The second-half would be a more cagey affair with each team going close as Deane was forced to palm away Shay McCartan’s dipping strike, whilst at the other end, Lyndon Kane fired over the crossbar from Jamie Glackin’s cut back.
In March, the Stripes would have to dig very deep to secure a point as Matthew Shevlin netted an 89th minute equaliser. After Shevlin would see a strike saved by Aaron McCarey, the hosts would be awarded a penalty on 22 minutes as Andy Scott was brought down by Luke McCullough. The resulting spot kick would be blazed over the bar by Shevlin. However, Coleraine wouldn’t have to wait long to make the breakthrough as Josh Carson’s cross from the right-hand side was steered into the net by Dean Jarvis for his second goal of the season. Glentoran would go into the interval level as a dangerous free-kick by Bobby Burns went into the net via a wicked deflection from Aaron Jarvis. The visitors would enjoy plenty of possession after the break with Coleraine looking more threatening on the counter. With less than ten minutes remaining, Glentoran would hit the front as Conor McMenamin cut in from the right-hand side and hit an unstoppable curling effort into the top corner. In front of the Railway End, there would be late drama as a corner kick was headed on by Eamon Fyfe and Shevlin was in the right place at the right time to blast the ball home.
The last clash was in the spot-split fixtures in April as Glentoran would lead by three goals at the break. The opening blow was dealt with just two minutes on the clock as Terry Devlin headed in from a corner before former Northern Ireland international Niall McGinn twice got in on the act with two expert finishes. The Stripes were much improved after the break, however, the damage was done inside the opening 45 minutes. Coleraine would receive a blow in the latter stages of the game as Adam Mullan would have to be substituted with a serious knee injury.
“It will be a tough test,” Kearney said.
“You know you call a spade a spade but it’s important you go into that game off the back of three points against Newry City.
“It hasn’t been a great couple of weeks for us but it’s important to get back on that horse and go into it in good form.
“We’ve got a good week’s training behind us now and we will go there aiming to get three points.”
The match referee will be Christopher Morrison.
The assistant referees are Stephen Donaldson and Bogdan Sfirloaga.
Steven Gregg has been selected as the fourth official.
Coleraine supporters will require tickets for the contest which can be bought HERE.
A reminder that the game will be streamed live via the BBC Sport NI website and available on the Red Button.
We would urge supporters to arrive at the ground in good time and respect residents in terms of parking your vehicle.
As ever, those unable to watch the fixture can follow the latest developments via the club’s official Twitter account (@ColeraineFC).