Causeway Chronicle

Coleraine’s Euro Play Off final

All roads will lead to North Belfast on Monday. A massive game awaits Oran Kearney’s men.

They stand one game away from a return to European football.
Here’s the big game stats: Coleraine will play their first European Play Off final since they were introduced in the 2015/16 season.
The game against Crusaders on Bank Holiday Monday has a 3pm kick off at Seaview. 
Coleraine last appeared in Europe in the 21/22 season in the Europa Conference League against FK Velež Mostar from Bosnia and Herzegovina in the first qualifying round.
Coleraine lost both games 2-1.
The Bannsiders had a comprehensive 3-0 win against Glentoran in the semi final at the Oval on Wednesday.
Lyndon Kane scored his first goal of the season in the match and his first goal since 07/04/23, when he scored the opening goal in a 2 all draw with Cliftonville at Solitude.
The teams have met four times this season with Crusaders winning twice, Coleraine once and one draw.
Coleraine were unbeaten in both fixtures at Seaview winning 2-0 and drawing 1-1.
Coleraine have a decent record at Seaview in the league.
Since the start of the 17/18 league season, the stats are:
Played 13
Won 6
Drew 2
Lost 5
Crusaders come into the Play Off final having ended their season on a great run.
The Crues have only lost two of their last 12 games.
Seaview hasn’t been as much a fortress this season as it has been in the past, with Crusaders losing seven of their 18 home league games this season.
Coleraine’s away form this season produced only four league wins overall, plus the Euro Play Off semi final win.
They have managed to get two wins at the Oval, a good win and a point at Seaview and a hard-earned point at Windsor Park.
Monday will see Crusaders manager Stephen Baxter’s last match in charge of the North Belfast men, although there is a chance he could lead them into Europe if they qualify.
Baxter took over the reigns at Seaview in February 1995.
The Crusaders manager has won three league titles, four Irish Cups, three County Antrim Shields, a League Cup and a Setanta Cup.
Coleraine boss Oran Kearney’s record in all competitions against Stephen Baxter:
Played 48
Won 15
Drew 11
Lost 22
Oran has faced Stephen the most times in his management career.
A European place for Coleraine will end the season on a great high
Coleraine lost six league games in a row between 16/12 and 20/01 and many at the time called for a change in the dugout.
Since then, Oran has only lost three of his 13 games in charge.
Look out for my full season statistics coming over the next week.

Michael Anderson

Michael Anderson