COLERAINE return to Sports Direct Premiership action this afternoon as they lock horns with Newry City at The Showgrounds (KO 3pm)…
Sports Direct Premiership
Coleraine come into the contest in a bad run of form which has seen the Bannsiders winless from their last six games in all competitions – four in the Premiership, one in the North-West Senior and one in the SPFL Trust Trophy. The Stripes welcomed back Josh Carson and Graham Kelly to the fold in last weekend’s defeat to Hamilton as Kearney sweats on the fitness of several others. Coleraine are currently 7th in the Premiership standings ahead of this weekend’s schedule.
Newry City have picked up more points on the road than at home this season as they were beaten 4-2 by Glentoran last weekend. Gary Boyle’s men put in a spirited performance but were left empty handed for their efforts. City have picked up wins away at Carrick Rangers and Glenavon so far this season and are 9th in the standings. A raft of new players were brought to the Newry Showgrounds in the summer including Liam Bagnall (unattached), Adam Carroll (Warrenpoint Town), Barney McKeown (Portadown), Jordan Mooney (unattached), Tom Murphy (Crusaders), Lee Newell (Rathfriland), Ciaran O’Connor (unattached), Darragh Owens (Glebe North), Georgie Poynton (Glebe North) and Adam Salley (Portadown)
Coleraine would pick up maximum points from their three encounters against City last season.
Oran Kearney’s men would pick up all three points as Lee Lynch and Dean Jarvis netted after the break to seal the success for the Stripes in September last year. After a scoreless first-half, Coleraine took the lead on 54 minutes as a clever ball by Josh Carson released Lee Lynch and he did the rest to convert his first goal for the club. Four minutes later, that advantage would be doubled as Conor McDermott and Jamie Glackin combined to find Dean Jarvis who also netted his first Coleraine goal. Coleraine would have further chances to add to their tally as Glackin and Matthew Shevlin both went close, with Conor McKendry denied a goal by the linesman’s flag.
At the start of the year, the Bannsiders would make a bright start as Matthew Shevlin had a goal disallowed for an apparent foul on Steven Maguire, before the stopper was in fine form to deny Lee Lynch and Conor McKendry. However, the breakthrough arrived on 34 minutes as Josh Carson netted his second goal of the campaign with a well taken free-kick. After Lynch would go close at the start of the second-half, Coleraine would go further ahead as Michael McCrudden latched onto a throw-in before rifling a strike into the bottom corner. Oran Kearney’s men will feel they should have put the game to bed as McKendry and Glackin would both go close, with the game turning on its head as Josh Carson was harshly adjudged to have fouled James Teelan inside the box. This allowed Daniel Hughes to convert from 12 yards. However, despite a late chance by Teelan being thwarted, Coleraine held on for a deserved three points.
The final contest would be in February as Oran Kearney’s side would make a strong start as Josh Carson went close inside sixty seconds but the breakthrough would arrive on ten minutes as Andy Scott crossed for Shevlin who made no mistake from close range. The Stripes would make a strong start to the second-half as Fyfe and Shevlin both spurned opportunities to double the lead as Maguire was busy to also prevent Lyndon Kane and Lee Lynch. Just after the hour mark, the hosts would threaten yet again as Dean Jarvis’ cross was headed over by Fyfe. Despite creating very few chances, Newry would go within a matter of inches of levelling the scores as Declan Carville’s cross found its way to Brian Healy with the midfielder’s half volley sailing just over the bar. The Bannsiders’ night in front of goal would be summed up at the death as Shevlin hit the crossbar from close range after being found by Lynch but one goal was enough.
“I thought our performance levels against Hamilton were good and there was a lot good about us,” Kearney said.
“Yes, we’ve been punished in areas and we’ve got to put the ball in the net when the chances are there.
“However, there’s enough to go off, Andy Scott has a wee niggle at this moment in time and we pulled him out of it, as well as others we weren’t going to risk.
“Hopefully we can get them back in training this week and go from there.
“For us, it’s about going out and taking care of ourselves.
“We got the performance level against Hamilton for big parts of it, we were shaken for 10 minutes after the second but the key thing is getting 90 minutes of that this weekend.”
The match referee will be Keith Kennedy.
The assistant referees are Paul Robinson and Gavin Hegarty.
Raymond Crangle has been selected as the fourth official.
The match sponsor is Railway Arms, Coleraine.
John Marshall has kindly agreed to sponsor the match ball.
The mascot this afternoon is Caleb.
The Man of the Match award will be sponsored by Holley Optometrists.
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.
Newry City will need tickets to enter the stadium which can be purchased HERE.
A reminder that Benny’s Big Day Out is happening from noon with a kids zone, food truck, live music and loads more on offer HERE.
The Social Club will be open from 11:30am – with drink promotions on offer from 1:30pm until kick-off and then from 5pm 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).