IRISH LEAGUE: Coleraine boss Oran Kearney has no complaints over stalemate with Cliftonville

Coleraine's Brad Lyons is crowded out by Martin Murray (left) and Davy McDaid
Coleraine's Brad Lyons is crowded out by Martin Murray (left) and Davy McDaid

Coleraine manager Oran Kearney believes that his side’s draw with Cliftonville was “a fair result” as both sides cancelled each other out at a cold and windy Coleraine Showgrounds.

The Bannsiders withheld an onslaught from the visitors in the first half to secure a point, despite having a goal disallowed for offside and Brad Lyons squandering a gilt-edged chance in the second half that would have seen the Bannsiders leapfrog the Reds into third place in the Danske Bank Premiership.

However, Kearney spoke candidly after the match and had a special praise for his side’s defensive performance.

“You would have to say that the draw was a fair result,” he said.

“We have had a goal disallowed and Brad had a great chance with ten minutes to go and we maybe looked like the team who had the best opportunity to take the three points. Although, you can’t begrudge that a point was the correct outcome.

“We have to be happy with our work and it has been a great month. We have picked up a few wins and Cliftonville have been the same. It was the two in-form teams in the league and we have secured a point, so we move on.”

The draw ensured that Coleraine remained unbeaten in their last seven matches in all competitions – a feat that has seen the Stripes labelled the ‘surprise package’ of the season so far.

Kearney insists he hasn’t been surprised by his side’s good start and feels his young guns have been the catalyst for the upturn in form.

“The key thing was bringing in the young players and it has been well documented about the impact they have made on the club,” he added.

“Not only are they young, but they have a lot of quality and bring a lot of identity to the club. They mix well with the older players and we have a really good feel about the place and I think it transmits onto the pitch,” he said.

“We are more than happy with our start to the season and we are not shocked by it. I feel we are there on merit and we haven’t stolen any results.”

Cliftonville boss Gerard Lyttle said: “It was one of those games and we knew it was going to be a tough match before we came here. We always find it tough at Coleraine and it could have gone either way.

“It was one of those games were it’s a wet day, the grass is long and we didn’t get a rhythm in our passing. I think in the end that a draw is the correct result.”