Match Reaction

“We kicked on after equaliser” – OK

COLERAINE manager Oran Kearney was delighted to see his players dig deep to secure all three points against Warrenpoint Town last night…

The Bannsiders would hit the front through an own goal from Luke Wade Slater but looked like only ending up with a share of the spoils after Alan O’Sullivan netted an equaliser.

However, Coleraine would ensure they would return to winning ways as Josh Carson’s dangerous cross was headed into his own net by Daniel Byrne for the second own goal of the evening.

“I am pleased to get the three points,” Kearney told Coleraine TV.

“People can say what they want and I’ve heard it all before ‘that it’s Warrenpoint and we beat them a few weeks ago in the League Cup’ but they had a red card and it turned out an easier night than we thought it would.

“They’ve played like a 5-4-1 all season, they frustrate, they try and stay in the game which they’re more than entitled to do.

“For us, we got our first goal scrappy as it was and it looked like we were comfortable and looked like things were going to go out the way that we wanted it to go.

“We then get a little error from Gareth which you could probably count on one hand what he’s had in his career with us.

“I was more devastated for him in relation to we had 15 minutes and all that was in my head was dig him out and make sure that he’s not remembered for the little handling error.

“I know how he is and he’d beat himself up about it.

“Thankfully we kicked on, there was a real lift to everybody, we’d two or three wee sniffs before that and then it’s a cracking ball from Josh and I’m not sure if Stevie gets a touch, but for me it’s all about the delivery that makes the goal.”

The visitors were impressive performers – especially in the opening 45 minutes – and Kearney remarked that teams in and around the bottom start to pick up results as the season draws to a close.

“You see it all the time whoever the teams are down at the bottom of the league each year, they fight and frustrate the whole way through the season and they find themselves locked in a position they don’t want to be,” he added.

“But for whatever reason when you head into that last 10 or 12 games of the season, they generally pick up more points than they’ve picked up all season long.

“We knew with them getting a result on Saturday it would be even tougher tonight and it proved that way.

“They were really solid in defence, they parked the bus, they put a lot of players in front, frustrated us for long periods and did look dangerous in the attack as well.

“It was very much a game of cat and mouse and we’re just happy to get the three points.”

The two teams are set to do it all over again at Milltown this Saturday with Kearney acknowledging that he tried to give a few players a rest as they are in the middle of a busy run of fixtures.

“It’s not easy,” Kearney responded when asked about playing teams back-to-back,

“Obviously we will be away from home, it’s down at their place and I think it’ll be our fifth game in 14 days.

“We’ve got to be careful, we tried to put Josh on the bench tonight to try and put a wee bit into his legs as his numbers have been massive in the last couple of weeks.

“There’s a few others that ideally it would have been nice to do the same.

“To be fair to the lads, they keep delivering and they keep producing good performances.”