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Match Preview

‘Top performance required’ – OK

COLERAINE boss Oran Kearney knows his side will have to be at their best to get their first points of the season as the Bannsiders make the trip to Carrick Rangers tomorrow afternoon (KO 3pm)…

Danske Bank Premiership

Overview:

The Bannsiders were beaten for a second successive match on Tuesday night as two late goals saw them leave Cliftonville empty handed. Oran Kearney’s side pulled a goal back through Aaron Traynor but they left things too late to get a share of the spoils in North Belfast. The Stripes were boosted by the return of Josh Carson for the contest, with Coleraine hopeful of having further bodies back in the coming weeks.

Carrick Rangers picked up their first victory of the season on Tuesday night against Warrenpoint Town at the Belfast Loughshore Hotel Arena. A solitary goal from Daniel Kelly would prove to be the difference as Stuart King celebrated his first success as Carrick boss. The Amber Army have been busy adding to their panel this summer with the acquisitions of Matthew Skeet, Neil Shields, Jim Ervin, Lee McNulty, Stewart Nixon, Ben Tilney, David Cushley and Emmett McGuckin.

Previous meetings:

The two sides met on three occasions last season with the Bannsiders collecting a maximum of nine points against the East Antrim side.

The first meeting was in January this year as Carrick would miss a first-half penalty through Caolan Loughran who was denied from the spot by Gareth Deane. The deadlock was broken via another penalty as Ben Doherty dispatched from 12 yards, before there would be two late goals from Stewart Nixon and Eoin Bradley as Coleraine ran out 3-0 winners.

A month later, Coleraine would travel to the Belfast Loughshore Hotel Arena and the game would be similar to the previous encounter as both teams went in scoreless at the break. However, the Bannsiders would edge in front on the hour mark as Curtis Allen showed his predatory instincts to lash home, with the same player adding a second on 76 minutes to seal a 2-0 success.

In March, Coleraine would host Carrick in the final clash between the teams and it would take late drama for the Stripes to pocket a valuable three points. Just when the game looked like it would end in a draw, Kearney’s men would find a 77th minute winner as Aaron Canning smashed the ball into the net from a corner kick.

Manager’s Thoughts:

“It will be another tough away game,” Kearney said.

“I keep saying to people that this league keeps getting better but this year in particular I think it’s frightening the length that all clubs are going to in relation to be competitive and the players they are going for.

“It’s important we stick to our guns and not get carried away to try and do things we can’t do.

“Carrick have strengthened well, it’s always a tough place to go, so we know we have to put in a top performance.

“I watched them against Cliftonville and they were unfortunate to not get anything from the game.

“They have got their win against Warrenpoint Town so they will be coming all guns blazing so we have to match that.”

Officials:

The match referee will be Tony Clarke.

The assistant referees are Jamie Carnduff and Gavin Hegarty.

Andrew Davey has been allocated as the fourth official.

Admission:

Admission is via a cash gate with the price set at £12 adults and £8 concessions.

If you are not feeling yourself this evening 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).