Coleraine up to second after emphatic victory over Larne
Coleraine moved up to second place in the table thanks to a 3-1 win over Larne at The Showgrounds.
Jamie Glackin fired the hosts in front before Bannsiders old boy Ben Doherty levelled 10 minutes later.
Former Larne man Conor McKendry restored the Bannsiders’ advantage before the break with the aid of a big deflection off Cian Bolger.
And things got even better for Coleraine before the hour mark as Lyndon Kane slotted home his first goal of the season from the penalty spot after Josh Carson had been brought down in the box.
Oran Kearney showed the faith he has in 17-year-old forward Patrick Kelly as he threw him into the starting 11 for the first time and he impressed with delightful touches before going off to rapturous applause from a massive home support late on.
McKendry made a return to action against his former employers after missing the previous week’s win over Dungannon Swifts due to suspension.
For the visitors, John Herron and Kofi Balmer returned to action for Tiernan Lynch’s men.
Balmer almost played his team into trouble on six minutes with a poor clearance.
Kelly tried to feed Shevlin but Balmer, to his credit, made a great recovery tackle to deny the striker.
Doherty went close to scoring against his former club again, firing wide of the target after the home defence failed to deal with Graham Kelly’s cross.
The deadlock was broken on 25 minutes as Larne failed to deal with Kane’s cross and Jamie Glackin lashed home his third goal of the season.
The sides were level again 10 minutes later as an exquisite pass from Mark Randall allowed Doherty to turn and coolly slot past Gareth Deane.
It was the first goal Coleraine have conceded at home this season.
But the Bannsiders stirred themselves again to retake the lead three minutes before the break with another old boy doing the damage.
McKendry picked up the ball 25 yards from goal and let fly. Rohan Ferguson looked to have it covered but Bolger’s attempted header deflected the ball into the far corner of the net.
Remarkably, Larne almost drew level from the restart as Tomas Cosgrove picked out David McDaid in the box, but he shot straight at Deane.
Teenager Kelly almost had a moment to remember two minutes into the second half as he picked up Shevlin’s knock down, but his snapshot was straight at Ferguson.
The Bannsiders were handed a perfect opportunity to extend their lead before the hour mark after Carson was brought down in the box by Balmer - up stepped Kane to fire home via the upright.
There was confusion minutes later as the hosts were awarded a free-kick on the edge of the box following a coming together between Bolger and Shevlin.
Brown’s free-kick was blocked by the wall, but Carson lashed the rebound off the bar with Ferguson beaten.
Lynch emptied his bench bringing on Jeff Hughes, Ronan Hale, Lee Lynch and Andy Scott in a bid to rescue the game.
But as they pressed forward Coleraine almost had a fourth on the break, but Kelly’s effort was saved by Ferguson again as play moved into the last 15 minutes.
Moving into the dying moments, Deane produced an excellent point-blank save to deny McDaid.
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