IRISH LEAGUE: Coleraine boss Oran Kearney relieved to get back on track again

Coleraine defeated Ballinamallard United on New Year's Day
Coleraine defeated Ballinamallard United on New Year's Day

Coleraine boss Oran Kearney watched his side start the new year just like they finished 2015 as they saw off Ballinamallard at a windswept Ballycastle Road.

The result moved the Bannsiders level on points with Cliftonville in third place and leaves Kearney’s men remarkably just one point behind last season’s overall points tally.

The start of December wasn’t great for Coleraine with three league defeats and an agonising League Cup semi-final loss to Ards.

But back-to-back wins over Ballymena United and the Mallards during the festive season has set Kearney’s men off on another winning run.

“After three defeats we were good against Ballymena on Boxing Day and we played well again to beat Ballinamallard today,” he said.

“We all knew the wind was going to get stronger and with it being up and down the pitch it was always going to be the proverbial game of two halves.

“It was important after they won the toss and turned us around that we got something in the first half.

“We had a couple of chances which ideally we would have liked to have taken to make the second half a little more smoother for us.

“But credit to our lads, sometimes it’s about going out and scoring and putting teams away, but sometimes it’s about holding on to what you’ve got.

“Obviously it would have been great to have got a second and it would have made things a bit more straightforward after the break, but it is so tough on days like this.”

Kearney has wasted no time in bolstering his squad for the second half of the season bringing in former Blackburn Rovers defender Mark Edgar on a two-and-a-half year deal.

“Mark ticks all the boxes for us. He is a Coleraine lad, he’s young and he has bags of ability.

“He felt he wasn’t getting enough football over in England so he has decided to come home in a bid to be playing regularly again.”