IRISH LEAGUE: Coleraine grind out victory over Glentoran at Oval

Eric Foley and Darren McCauley challenge for the ball during Saturday's game at The Oval. 
Photo Kirth Ferris/Pacemaker Press
Eric Foley and Darren McCauley challenge for the ball during Saturday's game at The Oval. Photo Kirth Ferris/Pacemaker Press
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GLENTORAN 0 COLERAINE 1

Coleraine kept the pressure on the top four with a 1-0 win over Glentoran at The Oval

Jamie McGonigle’s strike two minutes after the restart was enough to give the Bannsiders the spoils.

Oran Kearney was forced to shuffle his defence around with both David Ogilby and Gareth McConaghie missing out.

Utility man Adam Mullan partnered veteran Steven Douglas at the heart of the defence.

The Bannsiders could have edged in front as early as the third minute as Brad Lyons pounced on a mistake by Jay Magee to feed Jordan Allan, but the Glaswegian’s shot was blocked by Elliott Morris.

The Glens responded with some nice approach play, but they were faltering in their finishing.

In fact the game was 25 minutes old before Chris Johns was forced into a save in earnest as he easily gathered Curtis Allen’s shot.

A sweeping move from Coleraine on 38 minutes carved the home side apart. Steven Douglas started it off with a sliderule pass to Kane, who in turn fed Lyons down the right-hand side. His fizzed ball across the face of goal just evaded the outstretched leg of Allan.

A minute later a Rodney Brown cross was met by Mullan, his goal-bound header was clawed out by Morris.

The defender went close again just before the break with another header, Morris saved again, as the Bannsiders finished the half the stronger.

Coleraine picked up where they had left off before the break as they took the lead two minutes after the restart.

Lyndon Kane’s long ball was cleverly flicked on to Darren MvcCauly by Allan, the midfielder then picked out the run of Jamie McGonigle, who coolly slotted past Morris.

The home keeper was forced into action again minutes later as McCauley stung his hands with a powerful effort.

Jordan Allan should have doubled the Bannsiders’ lead on 61 minutes after a poor back header by Callum Birney. The front man raced clear but Morris got enough on his dinked effort to put it out for a corner.

The Glens almost grabbed an unlikely equaliser on 67 minutes after Kane lost Chris Lavery at the back post, but the wide man’s effort flew well wide.

Steven McAlorum made his return from injury on 70 minutes and found himself in the referee’s notebook two minutes later for a rash challenge on McGonigle.

From the resulting free kick Morris did well to palm away Brown’s powerful effort.

At the other end Allen teed up Lavery, but his shot sailed wide across the face of goal with 15 minutes to go.

Morris was keeping his side in the tie, and he proved his worth again with eight minutes to go as he got down well to palm away Lyons’s shot after a great run by the youngster.

Coleraine missed another glorious chance on 86 when Parkhill cut the ball back across the face off goal after rounding Morris, but McGongile was crowded out as he looked certain to score.

Glentoran: Morris, Birney, Magee, Caldwell, Allen, Foley, Harmon (Smith 57), McAuley, Addis (McAlorum 70), Lavery, Redman.

Subs: D. Nelson, K. Nelson, Ferrin.

Coleraine: Johns, Kane, Mullan, Douglas, McCauley (McLaughlin 90+2), McCafferty, Brown, Lyons, Parkhill, McGonigle, Allan.

Subs: Higgins, Edgar, Morrow, Doherty.

Goal: McGonigle (47)

Referee: Mervyn Smyth