2 - 1
League (NIFL Premiership)
Jamie McGonigle (19)
Jamie McGonigle (61)
David Cushley (31)
Alan Blayney .18
Patrick McNally .4
Tony Kane .2
Jim Ervin .21
Stephen McBride .3
Allan Jenkins .10
Eoin Kane .15
Gary Thompson .7
Darren Henderson .9
David Cushley .11
Gavin Taggart .8
Matthew Ferguson .19
Nathan Hanley .24
Matthew Shevlin .16
Stewart Nixon .32
Ian Parkhill for Brad Lyons (64)
Darren McCauley for Jamie McGonigle (84)
Stewart Nixon for Patrick McNally (64)
Gavin Taggart for Gary Thompson (75)
Matthew Shevlin for Darren Henderson (75)
James McLaughlin (36)
Michael Doherty (68)
Stephen McBride (45)
Jim Ervin (75)
Ross Dunlop (Referee)
COLERAINE took the three points and bragging rights from today's Boxing Day derby game at Ballycastle Road.
In front of a packed out Coleraine Showgrounds, the hosts won a corner in the 2nd minute of the game, but it came to nothing. Minutes later Cushley hit a 45 yard shot on the volley well wide of the mark. On 10 minutes James McLaughlin met a Ruaidhri Higgins cross but headed over the roof of the net. With 17 minutes on the clock McLaughlin sent a pass through to Jamie McGonigle, but Alan Blayney was equal to his shot. 2 minutes later McGonigle put Coleraine ahead after rounding Blayney.
As the home side kept the pressure up, Bradley Lyons turned and shot but Blayney saved. Just before the 25 minute mark McLaughlin played the ball to Higgins but he watched as his effort went wide. As the game reached the half hour point Jim Ervin got to the by-line and whipped a ball across to Darren Henderson but Michael Doherty made the save. Moments later David Cushley sent a right footed effort towards the goal and it nestled nicely in the net to level the scores.
5 minutes before the break McGonigle had another chance but he headed over.
It was a tentative start to the second half as Blayney had to be alert to tip a shot over the bar, and Darren Henderson had an effort on target in the 50th minute but it was stopped before it reached the net. Shortly afterwards Coleraine striker Rodney Brown sent a ball across the box but nobody could connect with it. This was followed by a good run from Lyons but his shot didn't live up to expectations and missed the target.
United had a penalty shout turned down in the 55th minute as he looked to have been clipped by Harkin, but referee Ross Dunlop waved play on. At the other end Brown had another chance but the goal was prevented by a last ditch tackle. Glenn Ferguson then took off Paddy McNally and replaced him with Stewart Nixon to make only his second appearance for the first squad. After the hour mark had just passed sub Ian Parkhill crossed the ball to Brown who headed it back to Jamie McGonigle to grab his second goal of the game to put the hosts ahead again.
Just 2 minutes later McGonigle had a chance to seal a hat-trick as Blayney pulled out a magnificent save. On 68 minutes Coleraine keeper Doherty was booked after coming out and cleaning Allan Jenkins. With 20 minutes left Tony Kane sent a free kick into the wall and the Bannsiders broke away ending with McLaughlin dragging his shot wide of the goal. In the next attack McLaughlin put McGonigle through, forcing Blayney to pull off another fine save.
In the 76th minute Coleraine won a free kick 25 yards out and Harkin somehow nearly hit the corner flag with it. With less than 5 minutes left of normal time United were on the attack as Stewart Nixon ran towards the box but, even though he appeared to be fouled, the ref waved play on. Alan Blayney, having already came to the rescue on many occasions throughout the game, once again had to be ready to save from Higgins in the 87th minute.
The last action of the game came as United won a free kick deep into injury time but it came to nothing and Coleraine took the points and the bragging rights.
Match report written by Paul Irwin
|Alan Blayney (GK)||34||7||-||45||-|
|Gavin Taggart (sub)||31||8||-||166||6|
|Matthew Shevlin (sub)||17||20||4||24||5|
|Stewart Nixon (sub)||18||1||-||2||-|
* - Table split into two divisions of six.