Match Preview

Point to Prove

COLERAINE will aim to overcome Glentoran for the first time this season as the two sides lock horns at The Showgrounds (KO 3pm)…

The Stripes will come into the fixture in fine form after claiming back-to-back wins in the Danske Bank Premiership. The latest was last weekend’s 2-1 success at Windsor Park as own goals from Matthew Clarke and Kirk Millar earned the visitors a deserved three points. As for Glentoran, they will be looking for a return to winning ways after being narrowly defeated by Ballymena in league duty, before suffering an exit in the League Cup at the hands of Crusaders.

The fixture will be the third time the two sides have clashed this season with the first ending in a 2-2 draw as Eoin Bradley struck late to salvage a point for the Bannsiders. The most recent was at the end of October as Coleraine suffered penalty-kick heartache after drawing 3-3 in the third round of the League Cup.

Coleraine boss Rodney McAree will be without the services of Lyndon Kane, Aaron Traynor, Graham Crown, Ian Parkhill and James McLaughlin through injury. However Josh Carson is expected to be fit after limping off injured against Linfield last time out. The Bannsiders will also have to shuffle the back four as defender Steven Douglas begins a two-match suspension.

The manager acknowledges Glentoran’s progress this season but has challenged his players to make it three wins on the spin.

“Glentoran have improved from last season and are a very good side,” he said.

“They beat us recently on penalty-kicks but we now have to challenge ourselves to make it three wins on the bounce.

“It will be a challenge but it’s one that we will put on the players.”

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.