Matchday Guide

Matchday Guide: Linfield

COLERAINE are at home for the first time in February as they host Linfield this evening (KO 7:45pm)…

Sports Direct Premiership

Overview:

The Bannsiders failed to record back-to-back wins in the Sports Direct Premiership as they were beaten 4-1 by Cliftonville. In what ended up as a harsh scoreline for Coleraine, they would make the contest 2-1 through Jamie McGonigle’s close-range finish but they failed to get back into the game. Oran Kearney’s side subsequently dropped down to 7th in the standings on goal difference after Loughgall’s 0-0 draw against Newry City on Tuesday.

Linfield failed to regain top spot in the Premiership as they were held to a 2-2 draw against Glenavon at Mourneview Park. Just when they looked like they had done enough to bag all three points, a late goal from Aaron Prendergast earned the hosts a point. The result means the Blues are now a point behind reigning champions Larne in the quest for the Gibson Cup. David Healy’s side are away to Institute in the quarter-final of the Irish Cup and will face Glenavon in the final of the BetMcLean Cup.

Previous Meetings:

Linfield would earn all three points in the first meeting between the two sides this season with a 3-1 win at The Showgrounds. The Stripes would fall behind in the first-half as Kyle McClean found the bottom corner from a quick throw-in, with Coleraine going close at the other end as Matthew Shevlin steered wide from Conor McKendry’s cross. Coleraine would draw level on 53 minutes as Jamie Glackin bundled the ball into the net from David McDaid’s cross, however, Linfield would go ahead again as Chris Shields netted from the spot after Lyndon Kane was adjudged to have fouled McClean. The victory was secured for the visitors on 72 minutes as Joel Cooper unselfishly squared the ball for Chris McKee to convert, with McKendry blocking a certain fourth for the Blues to deny Cooper on the goal line.

Just before Christmas, the Stripes would be the visitors to Windsor Park as both teams cancelled each other out in the opening 45 minutes. However, the hosts would take the lead on 66 minutes as a corner-kick delivery was glanced into the back of the net by Euan East. Four minutes later and the advantage was doubled from yet another corner-kick. Matthew Clarke would be the provider for the second time as the ball somehow landed to Rhys Annett less than two yards out who converted. On 86 minutes, Coleraine halved the arrears as a delivery into the box by Jamie Glackin was stabbed home at the back post by substitute Andy Mitchell but Linfield held on for a 2-1 success.

Manager’s Thoughts:

“I definitely think there were positives to take from last weekend,” Kearney said.

“It’s hard to stand here and say that at 4-1 but for anybody that was there I think there was no issue with our work levels and fitness levels.

“There were a lot of good aspects in our play and as I have said I think we created quite a bit and we’ve got to hold on to that.

“The key thing is I think is what I call streetwise, we just can’t give teams head starts.

“We’ve got to eradicate that, we’ve got to stop those moments and it’s those moments that have a big impact on the game.”

Officials:

The match referee will be Jamie Robinson.

The assistant referees are Adam Jeffrey and Andrew Nethery.

Ben McMaster has been selected as the fourth official.

Sponsors:

The match sponsor is Garvagh Precision Engineering.

Derek Thorpe, Neal Anderson and North Coast Integrated College have also kindly agreed to sponsor the match ball.

The mascots this evening are Kyle, Louis, Jake, Isaac, Noah and Harry.

The Man of the Match award will be sponsored by Holley Optometrists.

Admission:

Season tickets are valid for the fixture, although, non-season ticket holders will require matchday tickets for the fixture which can be bought online HERE.

Linfield fans will need tickets to enter the stadium which can be purchased HERE.

The Social Club will be open from 6:30pm – with football on the big screens.

Wes Lamont will be returning to the club this evening as our Special Guest.

A bucket collection will be held with all proceeds going towards Cancer Research UK.

The match will be streamed live on the BBC Sport NI website and available via the Red Button.

Due to a good 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).