Match Preview

Swift test awaits at Stangmore Park

COLERAINE aim to keep the pressure on Crusaders at the top of the table as they take on Dungannon Swifts at Stangmore Park (KO 3pm)…

The Bannsiders reached the Sixth Round of the Tennent’s Irish Cup courtesy of a 7-0 win against Lisburn Distillery at The Showgrounds. Goals from Gareth McConaghie, Stephen Dooley, Jamie McGonigle, Ian Parkhill, Martin Smith and a brace from Matthew Kirk set-up a North-West clash against Institute in the next round. As for Dungannon, they overcame Limavady United and will face Glenavon in the Sixth Round of the competition.

After successive draws against Ballymena United and Cliftonville, the Stripes now find themselves second in the table – one point behind Crusaders. However, the Bannsiders have recorded maximum points from their two fixtures against Rodney McAree’s men so far this campaign. On the opening day of the season, goals from Ciaron Harkin, Stephen O’Donnell and Ian Parkhill helped the 10-men earn all three points in County Tyrone, before Darren McCauley’s solitary strike was enough to separate the sides in December. The Swifts are currently in 8th position in the table as they chase a top six place.

Coleraine manager Oran Kearney is without Lyndon Kane and James McLaughlin through injury. Furthermore, defender Gareth McConaghie must sit out after accumulating five yellow cards. However, Aaron Traynor is available after serving an automatic one-match ban.

After making his debut in last weekend’s Irish Cup triumph against Lisburn Distillery, winger Stephen Dooley has heaped praise on his team-mates for remaining on Crusaders’ coat-tails.

“Crusaders are winning every game and there’s not much you can do about that,” Dooley said.

“To be only one point behind them with the form they are in is brilliant.

“We are happy with where we are at and we’ll go to Dungannon this weekend and use that cliché of one game at a time.

“Hopefully we can come away with all three points.”

As ever, those unable to attend can follow the latest updates via the club’s official Twitter account (@ColeraineFC).