Match Preview

New Beginnings

COLERAINE kick start 2019 with a home clash as Cliftonville make the trip to the Ballycastle Road (KO 3pm)…

The Bannsiders made it seven points from a possible nine during the festive break as Jamie McGonigle’s second-half strike earned a hard fought win over Warrenpoint Town at Milltown. As for the visitors, they will be hoping for a return to winning ways after defeats to Institute, Crusaders and Linfield in recent matches.

This will be the third time the two sides have clashed this season, with each club boasting a win to their name. The first belonged to the Stripes as a deadly double from Aaron Burns earned a 2-1 win at Solitude back in August. The most recent clash was won by the Reds as first-half strikes from Levi Ives and Rory Donnelly edged all three points to Barry Gray’s men.

Coleraine boss Rodney McAree will be without the services of Lyndon Kane, Aaron Traynor and Aaron Burns through injury. There is a boost to the squad as James McLaughlin returns from a one match ban. New signings Jamie Glackin and Ben Doherty are not eligible for the fixture, while Ciaron Harkin features for the Irish Cup holders for the final time before heading back to Derry City.

The Bannsiders know that a positive result will help see them leapfrog their opponents into fifth spot in the Danske Bank Premiership.

“We need to try and pick up as many points as possible and we have done that in our last three matches,” McAree said.

“The focus is on the next team above us and that is Cliftonville, so we will hope to gain all three points.

“We know it will be tough so we have to concentrate on our own jobs and try and reverse the defeat we suffered the last time as Cliftonville ran out worthy winners.”

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

Supporters are reminded that entry is via a valid matchday card/season ticket only.