Matchday Guide

Matchday Guide: Larne

COLERAINE hope to start October in a positive fashion as they are the visitors to Larne this evening (KO 5:30pm)…

Danske Bank Premiership


Coleraine come into the contest after last weekend’s 2-0 success against Newry City at The Showgrounds. After a goalless first half, the Bannsiders would take the lead as Lee Lynch rifled home from Josh Carson’s pass before another ex-Larne man got off the mark as Dean Jarvis prodded home from Jamie Glackin’s cross. That result moved Oran Kearney’s men into third spot in the Premiership ahead of a busy run of games in both the League and Cup this month.

Larne have yet to taste defeat in the Danske Bank Premiership and will be buoyed from their east Antrim derby win against Carrick Rangers. Just when the game looked like ending in a stalemate, a shot from distance by Shea Gordon would find the back of the net to move Larne into fifth spot after only playing six games. Aaron Donnelly (Cliftonville), Shea Gordon (Partick Thistle), Max Hutchison (Waterford), Daniel Kearns (Cliftonville), Jack McIntyre (Sunderland), Leroy Millar (Ballymena United), Paul O’Neill (Cliftonville) and Shaun Want (Hamilton Academical) all made the move to Inver Park in the summer.

Previous meetings:

The two clubs met each other on the opening night of the season as the Bannsiders were the visitors to Inver Park. After Matthew Shevlin and Mark Randall threatened at either end, the hosts would take the lead just after the half hour mark as Kofi Balmer headed in from Ben Doherty’s corner kick. However, Coleraine equalised on 51 minutes as Lyndon Kane’s cross was headed into the net by Aaron Traynor and there would be a melee four minutes later after David McDaid’s late tackle on Traynor. On 68 minutes, Kearney’s men would take the lead as Conor McKendry’s free-kick was headed into the net by Matthew Shevlin. That advantage would only last five minutes as McDaid made it 2-2, and just when it looked like the game would end in a draw, the Inver Reds would pocket all three points as Doherty netted against his former club on 87 minutes, with Lee Lynch adding a late fourth.

In November, the Bannsiders hosted Larne under the lights in another game that had plenty of goal mouth action. Oran Kearney’s men would take the lead on 25 minutes as the ball presented itself to Jamie Glackin inside the box and the midfielder arrowed an unstoppable effort into the bottom corner. Despite the momentum of going a goal ahead, Coleraine would concede 11 minutes later through a once familiar source as Mark Randall picked out Ben Doherty who turned and finished past Gareth Deane. However, another former player would net against his former club as Conor McKendry would get in on the act before the half-time whistle as his strike deflected off Cian Bolger and into the net. The three points would be wrapped up for the Stripes a quarter of an hour into the second-half as Lyndon Kane rifled home a penalty after Matthew Shevlin was brought down inside the area.

Two months ago, Coleraine and Larne would play out an entertaining 1-1 draw at The Showgrounds. Tiernan Lynch’s side would come within a lick of paint of taking the lead on 15 minutes as John Herron’s turn and touch allowed Ronan Hale to pick up possession at the edge of the area. The striker hit a daisy cutter that looked certain to find the net but it cannoned off the post. Hale would once again threaten as his strike failed to find the target, with Herron having the same fate just before the half hour mark. In truth, Coleraine failed to test Conor Devlin in the opening 45 minutes as Deane was called into action to save Hale’s drive from the edge of the area. However, the deadlock would be broken on 71 minutes as Lynch chased the ball down the right-hand side and squared to Ben Doherty inside the area. The former Coleraine ace took a good first touch before burying the second to make it three goals against the Bannsiders this season. The final 15 minutes would be exhausting to watch as Coleraine had a goal disallowed when Stephen Lowry was denied an equaliser for a foul on Devlin, before the visitors also had a goal ruled off as Lee Bonis was in an offside position from David McDaid’s through ball. Minutes later, Brown was on hand to clear McDaid’s lob off the line, whilst at the other end, Devlin would make smart stops to deny Josh Carson and Shevlin from distance.  The game would be summed up by two defining moments in stoppage time as McDaid’s delicate lob hit the crossbar with Coleraine capitalising on that good fortunate as Shevlin prodded home to keep the Bannsiders in touch of the teams above them in the standings.

In the first post-split fixture last month, the Stripes would go within a lick of paint from taking the lead on 23. A diagonal ball released Josh Carson down the right-hand side and his cross met Bradley but his header struck the outside of the post with Rohan Ferguson beaten. That miss would be further compounded a minute later as Larne took the lead. A well worked involving Fuad Sule and Mark Randall released Ben Doherty on the right-hand-side and his cross was parried which allowed Lee Bonis to tap home unmarked. Just after the half hour mark, the hosts would waste another good opening as the ball was worked out to the lively Tomas Cosgrove. The full-back cut the ball back to John Herron who blazed over from the edge of the area. However, Larne would grab their second goal of the evening before the break as Sule’s header was picked up in his own half by Randall and the midfielder was able to burst into space unopposed and hit a crisp effort into the bottom corner. The chances would keep arriving at Inver Park as Matthew Shevlin headed over from Bradley’s cross, before Bonis struck the post at the other end from Cosgrove’s pass and then Doherty couldn’t find a way past Deane after being sent through on goal by Randall. The hosts would add a third on 90 minutes as Lynch teased the ball up at the back post for Bonis to acrobatically volley into the back of the net.

The two teams would also square off in the European play-off contest at Inver Park. Tiernan Lynch’s side would make the breakthrough on 12 minutes in fortunate circumstances. A corner kick into the box was headed on by Kofi Balmer, and whilst his attempt looked to be going wide, the ball took a deflection off Rodney Brown and into the net. With just over ten minutes to go, the Bannsiders would see a big chance come and go. A flick on by Eoin Bradley released Stephen Lowry inside the box, and after the Limavady man mustered some space, he could only drag an effort wide of the near post. With six minutes additional time signalled, the Stripes would have one final chance as hesitance in the Larne box resulted in the ball landing at the feet of Curtis Allen, but the substitute failed to find the target as he could only stab the ball wide. As Coleraine pushed everyone forward, they would be punished with virtually the last kick of the ball as Andy Scott was sent clean through on goal and he had the vision to pick out Randall who tapped the ball into an empty net.

Manager’s Thoughts:

“It was nice last Friday night to get our three points and enjoy the weekend,” Kearney said.

“We have worked hard this week for another firm test.

“They have always been tough games at Inver Park and we are expecting nothing different.”


The match referee will be Ben McMaster.

The assistant referees are Andrew Nethery and John Doherty.

Evan Boyce has been selected as the fourth official.


Coleraine supporters can buy tickets for the fixture which can be purchased HERE.

Please be aware that a cash gate will be in operation ONLY for children under the age of 11 (£2).

If you are not feeling yourself this afternoon and you have symptoms which you feel are similar to COVID-19, please stay away from the stadium and think of others.

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