Coleraine boss Kearney buoyed by spirited Oval display

Ruairi Harkin celebrates his opener
Ruairi Harkin celebrates his opener

Oran Kearney believes Coleraine need to continue raising the bar if they want to climb the Premiership table.

The Bannsiders emerged from an Oval deluge with a deserved a point against Glentoran on Saturday.

Ruairi Harkin opened the scoring with a superb drilled effort in the 13th minute.

Former Coleraine striker Aaron Boyd replied for the Glens in the 57th minute, tapping home from close range after Curtis Allen’s shot had rebounded off the post.

It saw Coleraine make it four games unbeaten in all competitions.

“Our big focus has been on performance over the last few games. As long as we get that then we will have a chance in most games,” Kearney said.

“I thought we had a very good first half, and Glentoran came into it in the second.

“The last 20 minutes it was end to end, but I think we had enough chances on the day to come away with the three points.”

Kearney lamented some decisions that went against his side – pivotal moments he feels could have cost Coleraine maximum reward.

“Ruairi Harkin hit a free-kick that hit a Glentoran player’s arm inside the box. Many times you see the linesman’s flag go up and a penalty awarded,” he said.

“The big one for me was the Davy McDaid one. He got in behind the Glentoran defence and was through on goal. There was big contact made when one-on-one with the keeper, and I think that could easily have been a red card for Glentoran.

“Instead, the ref waves play-on and we end up having one of our player’s booked for remonstrating.”

Glens boss Eddie Patterson admitted Saturday’s draw was a “decent point” for both sides.

“You will see the performances and results Coleraine have had in their last few games, and you can see improvement there,” he said.

“We knew it would be very tough, particularly with us losing the likes of Stephen McAlorum, and the other injuries we have. So it was a welcome point for us.

“Credit to the lads, they showed great character and played some great football in tough conditions.

“We just didn’t create as many chances as we like.

“We are proving hard to beat. And considering how many players we are missing, it is positive.”