COLERAINE are on the search for their first three points of the season as they face Linfield at the National Stadium tomorrow afternoon (KO 3pm)…
Danske Bank Premiership
The Bannsiders were left to rue a missed opportunity on Tuesday night as they led 2-0 against Glentoran, but failed to collect all three points as goals from Hrevoje Plum and Paul O’Neill salvaged a draw for Mick McDermott’s side. As for the Blues, their European adventure continues after a 5-3 aggregate victory over FK Sutjeska – a result which means they will face Qarabag in a two-legged play-off for a place in the group stages of the Europa League. The reigning champions got their Danske Bank Premiership campaign off to a winning start last time out as they defeated Institute at Windsor Park.
The two clubs clashed four times last season and the first ended in a 0-0 draw in what was Rodney McAree’s first game in charge. A few months later, Coleraine registered a 2-1 win at the National Stadium, with the third fixture going the way of David Healy’s troops who recovered from two goals down to win 3-2 in Belfast. The final clash was at The Showgrounds at the end of last season’s Danske Bank Premiership campaign and Dylan Davidson’s goal looked like separating the teams, until Daniel Reynolds netted a late equaliser for the Blues.
Bannsiders boss Oran Kearney will be without the services of James McLaughlin who begins a suspension after his dismissal against Glentoran, with Aaron Traynor also ruled out through injury. There is hope that Ian Parkhill will be involved after missing out on Tuesday evening at The Oval.
“The fixtures committee have been kind to us with Cliftonville, Glentoran and Linfield all inside the opening week,” Kearney joked.
“It is what it is, we dust ourselves down, there is a lot of disappointment in the dressing room after tonight and last Saturday’s result.
“It comes down to fine margins because we could have easily been sitting here with six points but the reality is that we have two.
“The key thing is that we have to go and put that right on Saturday.”
Supporters are advised that they need tickets for the fixture, with admission prices set at £12 adults, £8 concessions.
As ever, those unable to attend can follow the latest developments from the fixture via the club’s official Twitter account (@ColeraineFC).