Oran Kearney chalked another entry onto his unbeaten tag in ‘derby’ matches as Coleraine boss – but he admits that people harping on about it is beginning to wear thin.
It looked odds-on a ninth win in 11 matches against bitter rivals Ballymena since Keraney took over before the Sky Blues – aided by unlikely two-goal hero Johnny Taylor – battled back to prevent a ninth straight defeat at the hands of the ‘auld enemy’.
“Everybody is always on about it (the unbeaten record) - my Twitter this week was people trying to rattle home this record for but for me it’s all about the day and the past is the past,” said Kearney.
“I just wanted three points, I don’t care how many games it is. It was Gary Browne and Eoin Bradley’s first derby match, so what will it matter to them how many we’ve been unbeaten before?
“But fair play to Ballymena, with the mental scars they probably have from that record, when they go 2-0 down the easiest thing for a lot of them would be to hide but you have to say they showed a lot of character to get back in the game.”
Coleraine looked to be heading for more ‘derby’ day delight as goals from debutant Eoin Bradley and Stephen Carson’s blockbuster of a free kick had them two up at the break and had Carson’s second half effort found the net instead of rattling the crossbar, the Bannsiders could have been on their way to a handsome win.
“I said to the bench ‘we need a third, we need a third’ to put it to bed. At 2-0, we always know in football, that’s it’s nearly worse than 1-0 because at 1-0 it gives you more of an edge, but at 2-0 it can give you that turning point.
“I think 2-0 in a lot of games would be enough but in a derby one you’re always wary.
“We played some great stuff but we’ve only a point to show for it because of individual errors. Momentum is probably the most important word in football.
“Just two corners give you a totally different mindset of a weekend. I can start to look into that and think about it but when you step back it’s two corner and two men haven’t marked a man and it’s ironic it has happened twice in a week.
“In my career I never practised a corner once and never had to be told to mark a man, to me it’s very simple – you get goalside, you get tight and if the ball comes anywhere in your area you win it or challenge it,” added Kearney.
United boss Glenn Ferguson heaped praise upon defender Taylor, who has been by some distance the Sky Blues’ stand-out player this term in his more accustomed role at the back.
But Taylor is also a menace in the air for opposing teams at set pieces and twice he headed home Ally Teggart corner kicks to haul United back into the game.
“I thought Johnny was immense today, usually he’s immense at the other end of the pitch, but he’s proved how well he can score.