Linfield boss David Jeffrey pleased with character of players after steely win

Philip Lowry celebrates his winner against Coleraine

Philip Lowry celebrates his winner against Coleraine

  • by Steven Crawford

Both managers praised the character of their players as Coleraine and Linfield served up a pre-Christmas cracker at the Showgrounds.

The sides were left licking their wounds after disappointing defeats last Saturday, albeit at different ends of the table.

But they bounced back in style this week producing a five-goal thriller which had everything, just like the clash here last season when Stevie Lowry popped to grabbed a last-gasp winner for the Bannsiders.

This time though it was brother Philip who had the last laugh as he finished from close range to keep the Blues in touch at the top of the league.

“What really pleased me though was the character of my own team,” said David Jeffrey after the game.

“To be in front twice away from home and then to kick on for a third time I thought showed tremendous willingness.

“I asked them if they wanted to be winners, because today would be decided by who wanted to win this war.

“And it turned out to be so perfect that Philip scored the winning goal when you think back to his brother Stephen scoring the all decisive goal in the game here last year. It was a bit of poetic justice.

“The overwhelming emotion is one of great delight and great pride.

“I always say that you keep your criticisms in private and your praise in public, but it would be fair to say that after last week’s performance and result against Cliftonville I was bitterly disappointed.

“Simply the players were challenged about being winners because I knew it was going to be very tough here today at Coleraine.”

Coleraine boss Oran Kearney was delighted to see his side produce a battling display after a very difficult last few weeks, but he was disappointed that his side had nothing to show for their efforts.

“You are disappointed any week when you fail to take something from the game it doesn’t matter if it’s Linfield or not, you always want to take points from the game,” said Kearney.

“I think the manner of the game and the way in which it was played to go behind twice and show character to get back in to it I thought a draw was the least we deserved to get from the game.”

The Bannsiders were left to pay the penalty just before half time as Ruairi Harkin’s penalty crashed off the upright, and minutes later Aaron Burns smashed home from 12 yards after David Ogilby was adjudged to have fouled Mark McAllister.

Kearney though insisted the penalty shouldn’t have been awarded in the first place.

“Credit to Mark he bounced straight up and said to the ref that it wasn’t a penalty as there was no contact,” said Kearney.

“But for some reason he has decided to award it. I know Mark well, he is an honest lad who plays the game in the right way.”




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