COLERAINE manager Oran Kearney admits he was impressed by the standard of play from both teams as the Stripes reached the semi-final of the BetMcLean League Cup…
The Bannsiders reached the last four of the competition as goals from Jamie Glackin and Matthew Shevlin were enough to record a 2-0 success against the Glens.
The victory takes their unbeaten run to 13 games in all competitions and Kearney credited his troops from bouncing back after their frustrating draw against Carrick Rangers last Saturday.
“I’m obviously very happy,” he said.
“We talked about it before the game that we hold this trophy, it’s something we took a lot of joy from winning and it provided a lot of joy to the area and the changing room.
“It’s not something that we want to give up easily.
“Big credit to the players as from a tough day on Saturday they bounced back really well and throughout the team I thought there was 14 really strong performances.”
The two goals also came in for praise as McKendry and Glackin linked up for the first, with Shevlin’s hard work and endeavour being rewarded as he pounced on Mal Smith’s defensive mistake to slot home from close range.
“Conor springs really for the counter and to be fair Glacks makes up serious ground to get up beside him,” he added.
“He adjusts his feet well to get the ball under control and it was a great finish.
“Matthew has again put in sterling effort and I think sometimes we take it for granted the level of work he puts in to the game.
“Hard work and graft in players are very hard to come by, particularly in a number 9 position, and he has growing and growing in that role.
“On Saturday, he worked just as hard but maybe didn’t get the half chances or sniffs in front of goal but tonight it was great to see that and he got rewarded with his goal.”
The Bannsiders had to weather an early second-half storm from the visitors as Jay Donnelly, Patrick McClean and Luke McCullough all threatened the Coleraine goal mouth.
After watching his side concede two goals in a short period of time against the same opposition just last month, Kearney was happy to his side learn from those experiences.
“They (Glentoran) are a cracking side and the improvements they’ve made and the improvements of the other full-time teams is plain to see with teams Glentoran when you watched that tonight,” he continued.
“The standard of the game and the standard of football played by both teams was really good and I think the pitch helps with that.
“We know we are going to have ride our luck at times, we know there’s going to be periods of the game we have to ride the storm and we didn’t do that the last time we were up there as we allowed them back in the game.
“We spoke about that at half-time, although it didn’t make one bit of difference, although on the same stretch, at least we battened down the hatches and we didn’t concede during that period which was important.
“From experience, it usually lasts ten or fifteen minutes and then you get on the other side of it and start to create chances again.”