COLERAINE under 16’s and 18’s toasted success against Carrick Rangers with our under 20’s edged out by Glenavon in the NIFL Academy League…
NIFL Academy U16
Carrick Rangers 2-3 Coleraine
Coleraine U16’s made the journey across to Taylor’s Avenue to play against a spirited Carrick side.
The game started ferociously, with the hosts taking a quick fire lead as they profited from a lacklustre pass from Armstrong with a great first time finish. Moments later, a hard press saw Gault falter and he was punished by another great finish as the hosts flew into a 2-0 lead.
Coleraine responded well to the early set backs; McIntyre, McToal and Devine began combining well on the right hand side, Armstrong and Kyle got stuck into their battles in midfield, KC was threatening in behind, and after gaining control of the ball Smyth made a well timed run beyond the Carrick back line to slot home and half the deficit.
Keeping the pressure on, Kirk began giving the Carrick right back issues with direct runs and looking to deliver for KC. As the first half continued, Gault atoning for his early error played a great first time ball for McIntyre, who in turn picked a wonderful ball for Smyth who beat the keeper but was clattered in the process. The resulting penalty was confidently put into the back of the net by Smyth to make it 2-2 at the break.
An injury to Smyth meant he couldn’t continue and was replaced by Moffat, with the hosts again looking to start fast but this time Coleraine stood up to it. Armstrong and Kyle continued to dominate the middle, Smith stood firm in defence. Five minutes into the second half, Gault was replaced by Martin, who went straight into the action by going on a zig-zagging run causing chaos, before the same player picked up the ball 25 yards out from goal, and with no immediate pressure he fired a dipping shot evading the grasp of the Carrick ‘keeper to make it 3-2 to Coleraine.
Dogged defending and determination meant the young Bannsiders came away with victory, and with still a lot to work on, they will welcome Larne to The Showgrounds next week – any support for the team is openly welcome.
SQUAD: Donnelly, McIntyre, Smith, Gault,Kirk, McToal, Armstrong, Kyle, Devine, Smyth, KC, Olphert, Moffat, Martin.
NIFL Academy U18
Coleraine 4-0 Carrick Rangers
Coleraine welcomed Carrick Rangers to Rugby Avenue on Friday night and the Bannsiders started the game well and were on the front foot. The visitors sat deep and made things difficult for the home side. However, Coleraine passed the ball well and had a few half chances, whist at the other end, Henry had to make a decent stop from a rare Carrick effort.
It took 25 minutes for Coleraine to make the deserved break through when good work by Patton, Kelly and Cullen allowed McAleese to finish from 8 yards.
The second half took the same pattern as the first with Coleraine doing to pushing and Carrick setting up a strong defensive block. On 55 minutes, Coleraine doubled their lead when McAlesse stepped up and fired a free kick from 25 yards into the bottom left hand corner – a fantastic finish for his second goal of the evening.
Five minutes later the game was safe when that man McAlesse heavily involved again as he supplied a cross for Campbell to head powerfully home past the Carrick goalkeeper.
Coleraine who were well in control and deservedly three goals up kept going and were looking for more goals and ten minutes from time Patton, who was brought down inside the box, stepped up and slotted home to make it 4-0 to the young Bannsiders.
SQUAD: Henry, Stewart, Moffat, Campbell, Callaghan, Keogh, Elliott, Kelly, McAlesse, Patton, Cullen, Gallagher, Greer, Kyle, Smyth.
NIFL Academy U20
Glenavon 4-3 Coleraine
Coleraine travelled to Mourneview Park on Saturday to face Glenavon and they almost grabbed a share of the spoils after finding themselves 4-0 down with 15 minutes to go.
A Cameron Purdy header from a corner saw the Lurgan Blyes go in 1-0 up at half time, and an excellent start to the second half led to further goals from Jamie Doran (2) and Dylan Sinnerton putting the team into a commanding 4-0 lead.
However, Coleraine battled hard and netted three times in the latter stages of the game through Kirk McLaughlin (2) and Adam Kirk.
SQUAD: Shiels, Doherty, Tosh, Dealey, McNeill, Stinson, Mackay, Houston, McLaughlin, McGill, Quigley, Kirk, Watton, Stewart, Kelly.