Ben Doherty provides perfect tonic for Coleraine's title push

Ben Doherty’s return to action is just the boost Coleraine need going into the business end of the season.

By Steven Crawford
Tuesday, 9th March 2021, 5:03 pm

The midfielder’s goals have proved vital for the Bannsiders over the past couple of season’s and this year is no different.

He helped himself to a brace in his comeback against Portadown last Tuesday night after eight weeks out with a broken collarbone.

And he repeated the feat at Stangmore Park on Saturday as his brace shot down a stubborn Duangannon Swifts side, with his second definitely one to remember.

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Ben Doherty is mobbed by his Coleraine team-mates after his spectacular winner

“It’s up there! It’s in my top three,” said Doherty after the game.

“I think the groundsman is still trying to get it out of the top corner!

“There was all this talk about me only scoring penalties so hopefully that’s the monkey off my back now.

“I’ll take them whatever way they come - penalties or ones like that!”

The 24-year-old was beaming after his brace and he admitted he is just happy to be back playing again after having to watch on from the sidelines for the past two months.

“Sitting watching football is never nice when you think you could be out there,” said Doherty.

“Oran’s message to me when I came back was to use the hunger of what I’ve missed.

“Even when I went out to warm up before the game against Warrenpoint last week I was buzzing.

“There was no-one in the stadium but I still had the biggest smile on my face.

“Oran had said about me having to sit out for two months and to go and let the shoulders down, and I think I’ve repaid him in the last two games.”

The Bannsiders are bang in form at present and Doherty was quick to point out the turnaround since December as they have hauled in the league leaders.

“We’re fortunate to be playing football again,” he said.

“There’s the whole ‘what could have been’ from last season.

“We didn’t live up to that expectation at the start of the season, we didn’t do as well as what we should have.

“I saw a picture of the league table from December 11 and it makes for serious reading as we were 19 points behind the then leaders Larne in ninth place.

“Look where we are now, and rightfully so given the effort that’s been put in by the coaching staff and the players.

“I can’t take too much credit as I’ve been out for two months just watching, but the boys have clawed it back and thankfully I’ve been able to repay the faith Oran has shown in me in the last two games.

“Football is a harsh game if you let it get to your head games will pass you by and you’ll see yourself slipping down the table.

“For us the motivation is there, we’ve clawed ourselves back to where we are now and we’re not going to give it up without a fight.

“We just worry about ourselves. It’s still as it stands going into today’s games, but there’s plenty more to be played.”

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