Skinner’s up for derby clash

COLERAINE striker Eoin Bradley insists his team-mates won’t need reminding of the importance of tomorrow’s visit to Ballymena United…

The Bannsiders make the trip down the A26 as they aim to maintain their push at the top of the Danske Bank Premiership.

After featuring in numerous derbies throughout the years, ‘Skinner’ is hoping that the eight day rest will stand the Stripes in good stead against David Jeffrey’s side.

“Three points are a must tomorrow afternoon,” he said.

“Ballymena are on a good run, it won’t be easy but if you have to get up for a derby then there is something wrong with you.

“We will get a rest and look forward to it.

“The busy schedule has been good and it keeps you busy.

“A lot of the boys are tired but we have had eight days off until the derby.

“Everybody knows what those games mean to the club and the fans, so it will give us time to rest and get back at it.”

The Bannsiders come into the fixture on the back of two successive draws against Glentoran, who has subsequently leapfrogged Oran Kearney’s men in the table ahead of this weekend’s games.

“I’d say over the two games, the two draws were probably fair results,” Bradley continued.

“They’re a full-time team so we knew it wasn’t going to be easy but we showed great character in the second-half to get a point last Friday night.

“I thought we were actually quite good in the first-half but went 1-0 down and Oran regrouped us at the interval.

“We never get it easy against Glentoran especially now that they’re full-time but we battled hard.

“Linfield are now 11 points clear so it’s not looking good for first place but there’s still plenty to play for in terms of European qualification.”

Bradley’s strike partner Matthew Shevlin has been in fine form of late as he has scored three goals in his last two games – even though Bradley was credited with the equalising goal against Glentoran on social media!

Skinner joked: “I’m going to claim the assist as it definitely skimmed me!

“The goal was definitely Matthew’s as it was a great ball by Ben and he was able to get a touch onto it.

“I thought we were very good in the second-half but we huffed and puffed rather than getting that big opening.

“Over the two games it was two fair results.”