Mixed emotions for the returning Beverland

Crusaders Howard Beverland and Coleraine's Gary Twigg tussle in the air
Crusaders Howard Beverland and Coleraine's Gary Twigg tussle in the air

Howard Beverland admitted his trip back to The Showgrounds was a difficult one.

The defender made his first return to The Showgrounds on Saturday following his summer switch to Crusaders.

It brought to an end his ten year spell with Coleraine so it was only natural his first trip back would bring some mixed emotions for the Ballymoney man.

“It was a difficult one to be honest with regards to the build up and with it being the first game back,” said Beverland.

“I think the first time is always going to be the toughest one, when it comes to other games it probably won’t feel like it does today.

“At the same time you have to be professional about it and keep a clear focus and a clear mind of what the goal is for today.

“Out there it’s the same for myself as it is for the Coleraine lads you’re enemies for the 90 minutes, but off the pitch we’re good friends and that’s just the way it has to be.”

It was probably fitting that both sides earned a share of the spoils as David Ogilby’s free kick cancelled out Steven Douglas’early own goal.

It was a positive result for Coleraine after their disappointing defeat at Dungannon last week.

Beverland admitted he expected a backlash from the Bannsiders after their Stangmore Park humiliation.

“I said to Oran there that Coleraine getting beat so badly last week was probably the worst thing for us as players up their game and want to produce a better performance,” he said.

“You could see the intensity in Coleraine today and how they went about their game, they set up with a good shape and a good game plan.

“We’re disappointed that despite having the majority of possession we didn’t really do enough with it.”

Kearney was delighted to see his side respond, but he’s hoping their can build on this draw with the Crues.

“I asked for a response after last week and we got it today,” he said.

The good thing about football is there’s a quick turnaround of games.

“Ideally we would have wanted a game on Tuesday night to be honest as it made for a long seven days.

“It’s been a very Jekyll and Hyde start for us.

“We’ve played really well at Linfield and drew and gone really well today and drew again, but last Saturday was just so poor.

“We have to work towards getting that consistency of performance every game, we’ve had it in two of our three games, but we have to go into Friday night’s game with Glentoran and aim for that same standard of performance again.”