Causeway Chronicle

Coleraine launch new era in style

Coleraine 3 Linfield 0

A brilliant win for Coleraine this evening to launch a new era for the club.

On the night that the club’s takeover was officially announced, the Bannsiders celebrated the historic move with a fantastic victory in the live televised clash.

After last week’s slip up against Glenavon, this was a hammer blow to David Healy’s title hopes.

But what a great night for a Coleraine team previously struggling for form and results…and watched by new owners Ranald McGregor Smith and Patrick Mitchell .

It was also the perfect way for Conor McKendry – making his 100th appearance – and fit-again Jamie Glackin, making his 200th appearance, to mark the occasion.

There was little to get excited about in a scrappy opening, apart from Ethan McGee collecting a Chris Shields pass and blasting over after 17 minutes.

Rory Brown then got down to make a routine save from Darragh McBrien.

The ‘keeper denied the same player with a super point blank stop just before the half hour mark – the highlight of a disappointing opening 45 minutes – after he connected with a superb Kirk Millar cross.

Kyle McClean flashed a shot over the top on 35 minutes as the visitors made most of the running without posing a major threat.

The hosts offered little in front of goal either . . . Lyndon Kane thrashed a shot over after McKendry’s cross was headed out by Daniel Finlayson to the edge of the box three minutes before half time.

There was much more intent from both teams at the beginning of a delayed second half.

It was Coleraine who almost opened the scoring just five minutes after the restart.

David Walsh was well beaten by McKendry’s effort from 20 yards but the ball struck the post.

Walsh produced a crucial touch to turn Matthew Shevlin’s shot past the post after 65 minutes following Jack Scott’s through ball.

But there was nothing he could do as the Bannsiders broke the deadlock from the resultant corner sixty seconds later.

Jamie Glackin delivered to the back post where an ecstatic Shevlin headed home.

Jamie McGonigle grabbed his third goal in successive games to put the home side in control in controversial fashion after 76 minutes.

Linfield protested that Shields cleared the striker’s effort off the line but the assistant referee awarded the goal.

There was still time for the buoyant Bannsiders to grab a third six minutes from time to settle the issue 

Substitute Aaron Jarvis got a touch at the near post to steer McKendry’s inswinging free kick past a startled Walsh.

A tremendous second half showing from the Stripes and a comprehensive and well deserved win.

What a way to begin a new era!

Michael Anderson

Michael Anderson