COLERAINE go in search of a spot in the last eight of the Irish Cup as they host Portadown tomorrow afternoon (KO 3pm)…
Samuel Gelston’s Whiskey Irish Cup Second Round
Coleraine come into the fixture with a renewed vigour after last weekend’s win against Linfield. The Bannsiders put in a strong performance at The Showgrounds and pocketed all three points through Lyndon Kane, Matthew Shevlin and Jamie Glackin to remain sixth in the table. Oran Kearney’s men beat Windmill Stars in the previous round and will have Andrew Mitchell at their disposal as he didn’t feature for Glentoran in the first round of the competition.
Portadown were beaten last weekend in the Danske Bank Premiership as old boy Lee Bonis netted twice in a 4-0 win for Larne at Inver Park. It has been all change at the Ports during January as ten new players arrived at the club, as well as a change in manager as Paul Doolin takes interim charge until the end of the campaign. The three-times winner of the competition beat Limavady United in the previous round.
The two clubs squared off at the end of October at The Showgrounds. After both teams would spurn half chances, the deadlock was broken on 28 minutes as Matthew Shevlin picked up possession after cleverly beating the offside trap. The striker ran into the box, and after he tried to deliver a cross to the unmarked Cathair Friel, the ball was diverted into his own net by Paul Finnegan. The three points would be secure in added time as Coleraine caught the visitors on the counter attack which allowed McKendry to unselfishly square the ball to Shevlin who made no mistake from inside the area.
Just last month, Coleraine would be on their way to Shamrock Park in what would turn out to be drab affair in County Armagh. The best chance for the Bannsiders would land at the feet of Stephen Lowry but he was thwarted by Jethren Barr, with Adam Salley blazing over at the other end.
This will be the 21st meeting in the competition between Coleraine and Portadown and the form book isn’t good reading if you’re a Bannsider. Out of the previous 20 contests, the Ports have won eleven with three draws, meaning the Stripes have been triumphant on six occasions.
“The result against Linfield needs to be a catalyst,” Kearney said.
“It’s been a tough month or so for us but I felt that was brewing.
“I felt we had that in us and we threatened it a few times but it just didn’t quite happen.
“I hope that it’s out of the system and we’ve still so much to play for this season.
“We have the League Cup, the Irish Cup and we need to get as high up the table as possible in relation to European places and all that goes with it.
“I really hope it’s a catalyst and the kick-start so we can build on it this week.”
The match referee will be Ian McNabb.
The assistant referees are Andrew Nethery and Gavin Hegarty.
Peter McGrath has been selected as the fourth official.
The match sponsor is Colin McBride Residential
Members of the Bannsiders WhatsApp Group have kindly agreed to sponsor the match ball.
The mascot tomorrow afternoon is Orla and she will have the honour of leading out the team.
The Man of the Match award will be sponsored by Holley Optometrists.
Season tickets are NOT valid for the fixture, meaning everyone attending will require matchday tickets for the fixture which can be bought online HERE.
Portadown fans will also need tickets to enter the stadium which can be purchased HERE.
Both sets of supporters are kindly asked to read the following matchday arrangements HERE.
If you are not feeling yourself tomorrow afternoon and you have symptoms which you feel are similar to COVID-19, please stay away from the stadium and think of others.
If you have access to a lateral flow/PCR test at home, we would encourage you to check yourself before coming to the game.
If you have been in contact with a positive case and haven’t yet been contacted by track and trace, please do not come to the game.
As ever, those unable to watch the fixture can follow the latest developments via the club’s official Twitter account (@ColeraineFC).