COLERAINE boss Oran Kearney insists his players will remain focussed despite their recent good run of form as they get set to host Portadown this evening (KO 7:45pm)…
Danske Bank Premiership
Coleraine moved up to second in the table last weekend as a second successive double from Curtis Allen sealed a 2-1 win against Warrenpoint Town at The Showgrounds. It now means Oran Kearney’s men are twelve games unbeaten and are five points behind leaders Linfield. There was a boost to the squad as Ben Doherty made his first appearance in almost two months in the success against Barry Gray’s side.
Portadown have failed to register a victory since December 8 but have picked up valuable draws against Coleraine, Larne and Cliftonville in recent weeks. After recent postponements, Matthew Tipton’s troops were beaten at the weekend by Ballymena United as Ross Redman scored a late goal against his former employers.
The two sides met just last month in the Danske Bank Premiership as Adam Salley’s thunderbolt gave Portadown a share of the spoils at The Showgrounds.
After a goalless first-half, the breakthrough arrived on 67 minutes as substitute Stewart Nixon scored with his second touch after coming on as he rifled the ball into the net for his fourth goal of the season. However, that lead was short lived as Portadown bagged an equaliser as Chris Lavery teed up Salley who sent a powerful strike into the top corner.
There would be late drama as Salley was dismissed for a tackle on Lyndon Kane but the Bannsiders failed to make their numerical advantage count as they were held to a draw.
In October, Coleraine would leave Shamrock Park with all three points as Ben Doherty bagged in the first half after his penalty was saved, before Jamie Glackin and James McLaughlin got on the score sheet after the break.
“Portadown came here and produced a big performance and took a point,” says Oran.
“We were wasteful on that day and didn’t grab a second goal to put the game to bed. We had a good first half and they hung in and had a good second-half and scored a good goal at the end.
“We know how tough it is going to be, they are probably a similar team like Warrenpoint who had a couple of games called off, but played against Ballymena which will get them up and running again.
“To be honest, I don’t pay much heed to the table. The one thing I do know is that there are six teams and you could scatter two or three points over them.
“We’ve had enough of a horror in the first six or seven games of the season, we had a four game losing streak and we were ninth in the table, so we are well versed at not looking too far ahead of ourselves.
“All we can control is getting our own three points.”
Supporters are not permitted inside the stadium due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
However, the fixture will be shown live and can be purchased HERE
A full instructions of the stream can be read HERE
As ever, those unable to watch the fixture can follow the latest developments via the club’s official Twitter account (@ColeraineFC).