League Cup Final: Matthew Shevlin hoping to make it third time lucky

Matthew Shevlin is hoping it will be a case of third time lucky when he takes to the field for tomorrow’s BetMcLean League Cup final.

By Steven Crawford
Saturday, 12th March 2022, 6:00 am

The Bannsiders’ top scorer has suffered heartache in his previous two League Cup final appearances.

Whilst at Ballymena United, the striker was a second-half substitute in the Sky Blues’ back-to-back final defeats to Dungannon Swifts and Linfield over 2018 and 2019 respectively.

The 23-year-old will be hoping to make more of an impact on the pitch this time around - as well as finally getting his hands on the trophy!

Coleraine striker Matthew Shevlin is appearing in his third League Cup final

“My first final was against Dungannon and we were heavy favourites going into it,” said Shevlin.

“So for Dungannon to beat us on the day was very tough to take.

“The season after we played Linfield.

“We played really well in that game and maybe should have won but we lost 1-0 in the end.

“I’m hoping it’s going to be a case of third time lucky for me come Sunday!”

Shevlin notched up his 19th goal of the season when ne netted a late equaliser against Larne recently.

The talented young front man is thriving in his first full season at The Showgrounds and he has plenty of games left to get himself into the 20s before the end of the season.

“I haven’t really been setting targets,” said Shevlin. “I’ve just been taking each game as it comes and we’ll see where I’m at then at the end of the season.

“The goal against Larne was my first in four games I think, though I don’t worry too much about that.

“It was a big goal for the team and that’s all that matters.”

Coleraine have been regular challengers for honours in recent seasons.

They may have dropped off the top of the league this term but still have an opportunity to secure some silverware and push for a coveted European place across the remaining games of the season.

“We’ve got to this stage of the season and we’ve had good spells and we’ve had bad spells,” said Shevlin.

“But this is the stage of the season that really matters...where cups can be won, where European places can be won.

“So we’ll be going into games full of confidence.

“We’ve a lot to play for, other than the League Cup final, so that’s maybe a good distraction from it but we’ll be ready to go when it comes around.

“Cliftonville have been brilliant all season but league form goes out the window when it comes to these sort of games.

“It’s the same for any cup competition really and especially a final.

“We’ll go into the game full of confidence that we can get the win.”