COLERAINE and Hamilton Academical meet competitively for the first ever time as the Bannsiders host the holders of the SPFL Trust Trophy this afternoon (KO 3:45pm)…
SPFL Trust Trophy Third Round
Coleraine take a break from Sports Direct Premiership duty as they turn their focus to the SPFL Trust Trophy. Oran Kearney’s side were in midweek action as they lost 3-1 to Limavady United in the North-West Cup, however, the Bannsiders will buoyed by the return of Josh Carson who completed the full 90 minutes against the Roesiders. It marks the start of a busy run of fixtures for the Stripes as they also face Newry City, Glentoran, Cliftonville and Crusaders before the month finishes.
Hamilton Academical have made a strong start to their Scottish League One campaign by winning four and drawing one of their five games to date. John Rankin’s side drew against Stirling Albion last weekend but are still joint top of the standings alongside Falkirk. The south Lanarkshire side will aim to defend the trophy they won last year as they defeated Raith Rovers in the decider. That win gave some light in what was a difficult season for Hamilton as they suffered relegation to the third tier of Scottish football after losing a promotion/relegation play-off to Airdrieonians.
Whilst today will mark the first ever competitive meeting between the two clubs, Coleraine and Hamilton squared off in two friendlies back in the 1990’s.
The first was on Tuesday, November 5, 1996 at The Showgrounds as the Accies ran out 4-0 victors via goals from Paul McKenzie, Jose Manuel Quitongo, Bill Davidson and Scott McCulloch.
A year later (Monday, July 7, 1997), the Bannsiders would once again play host to Hamilton but this time it would be a more competitive affair as the game finished 2-2 on the Ballycastle Road. The Coleraine goalscorers were Tommy McCallion and Paul Gaston, whilst Gary Clark and Paul Ritchie netted for the Accies.
The Stripes have already participated in the competition as they beat Formartine United on penalties before losing out to Welsh side Connah’s Quay Nomads in the next round back in 2018.
“We will be taking the competition seriously,” Kearney said.
“Gladly with the way the league has structured it with us meant to be playing Cliftonville and with them also being in the competition, thankfully, they haven’t put that game to the following Tuesday night.
“After the defeat against Linfield that would make next Tuesday night’s game against Cliftonville massively important where we wouldn’t be able to go as strong on the Saturday.
“The fact that we don’t have that game on the Tuesday night allows us to treat the competition with the respect it deserves.
“For us, it’s exciting, it’s something different and we will look forward to that and be as strong as we can.”
The match referee will be Chris Morrison.
The assistant referees are David Burns and Shane Geary.
Shane McGonigle has been selected as the fourth official.
The match sponsor is JKC BMW Coleraine.
Archie Duff has kindly agreed to sponsor the match ball.
The mascot this afternoon is Jude.
The Man of the Match award will be sponsored by Holley Optometrists.
Season tickets are NOT valid for the fixture, and as such, tickets are required to enter the stadium priced at £13 concessions, £9 adults and £2 primary school children with a paying adult. These can be bought HERE.
Hamilton fans will need tickets to enter the stadium which can be purchased HERE.
The Social Club will be open from 11:30am – with drink promotions on offer from 1:30pm until kick-off and then from the full-time whistle to 7pm.
Due to a large crowd expected at The Showgrounds, we encourage both sets of supporters to arrive at the ground in good time HERE.
As ever, those unable to watch the fixture can follow the latest developments via the club’s official Twitter account (@ColeraineFC).