Match Reaction

OK: “We hit the performance levels”

COLERAINE manager Oran Kearney was pleased to see his side rediscover their winning touch after yesterday’s 3-2 success against Glentoran…

After a goalless first-half, the Stripes would go ahead from the spot as Matthew Shevlin converted from 12 yards, but that lead was quickly cancelled out as Michael O’Connor found the bottom corner from the edge of the area.

However, Coleraine would kick on and grab two further strikes via Aaron Jarvis and Shevlin which was enough to seal victory despite a late consolation from Ruaidhri Donnelly.

“We haven’t been having 90 minutes performances of late nor the results either,” he said to Coleraine TV.

“However, with every game coming closer to the play-off, I think for us all we know what we have in there but in the same stretch, we need to see it on the pitch and get that delivery of a performance.

“I thought how the players managed the whole game, the first-half we played right into a stiff breeze but we were solid and compact and in the second-half we really went for it and it was great to see the shackles off and players hit form again.

“I think that just comes from goals and good moments in the game than anything else.

“How do you give someone confidence? You can talk to players, you could tell them their ten foot tall and everything else, but realistically, the main thing and I’ve been a player myself, you know yourself how you’re playing and you know yourself where you’re at in that moment of time.

“I thought the longer the game went on and the better we became as a team, then individually some of the performances were at a really good level.”

Shevlin’s opener on 47 minutes came with the striker’s first touch after he was introduced as a half-time substitute.

Kearney remarked that the 23-year-old has been working hard at training on his spot kicks and that he was pleased to see his players kick-on after conceding a quick equaliser.

“It was good courage from Matthew,”he stated.

“Since we’ve missed our last penalty he has spent quite a bit of time after training practising and making sure he was ready if the moment came.

“It was big courage from him to step up and take the ball and he slotted it in well.

“We didn’t let the equaliser affect us and we kicked on.

“That’s important because we spoke about it before the game that these are all dress rehearsals of what’s coming ahead.

“In any game, anything can happen where a goal can go against you and more importantly, the reaction was what we needed it to be and it was important.”

The Showgrounds faithful gave a standing ovation to midfielder Patrick Kelly after the 17-year-old put in a Man of the Match performance.

Speaking after the game, Kearney acknowledged that Kelly has been putting in similar displays at training and it was great to finally see it come out on a matchday.

“He has a real maturity and it’s been like that since he’s started training with the first-team,” he continued.

“Our form and performances since Christmas hasn’t been good but he’s played nearly every game since then.

“The easy thing to do is try and bring him out from that to protect him but once you get to Patrick and his mindset and mentality, you know you’re not damaging him by playing him in those games.

“His level of training has been really, really good and to be honest, his levels of games since Christmas has been really good also.

“Today was probably more like what I know from Patrick at training and our big urge was trying to see what we see on a Tuesday and Thursday come out on a Saturday.

“He was really good today but he’s a young lad, he knows he has a lot to learn and he’s got to start producing that week in, week out.”

The fixture would prove to be the Bannsiders’ last home fixture of the campaign and Kearney was delighted to send the fans home happy after their superb backing this season.

“Over the last few years in particular, we have taken a lot of pride in our home form,” he stressed.

“It’s been too long since we’ve had a victory at home and the run we’ve been on is well documented and frustrating.

“It was important with this being our last home game that we got all three points and a good performance to send the fans home happy.”