DANSKE BANK PREMIERSHIP: Coleraine show their mettle again much to Kearney’s delight

Coleraine manager Oran Kearney.  Photo by David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press
Coleraine manager Oran Kearney. Photo by David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press

Coleraine manager praised his side for their efforts following their 3-1 win at Ards on Saturday.

It was the Bannsiders third game in a week, and they made it a hat-trick of wins at the Bangor Fuels Arena much to Kearney’s delight.

“When you play an extra game midweek and given the high tempo and the physical effort of the Glentoran game it was important for us to grab the advantage today and not leave it late,” he said.

“We started well with two cracking goals but I was slightly disappointed with the five minute spell afterwards which allowed Ards their goal.

“It was a five minute spell of pressure where we couldn’t get out and if we had managed it better and kept it at two nil it would have been a more straightforward day.

“It’s an age old one but I sometimes feel we play better into the wind and in particular on a pitch like that.

“It was a tough day today we knew it was going to be windy and cold and it’ll not be a game for the history books but in the same stretch it’s the three points that are important.”

Eoin Bradley made an immediate impact coming off the bench on Saturday winning the penalty for the third goal, which sealed the game.

“Skinner is 34 and he’s recovered from a massive injury last season he’s and played a huge amount of football since,” said Kearney.

“He (Bradley) had a tough game last Saturday and another one on Tuesday night and knowing we won’t have Jamie McGonigle against Carrick I didn’t want him picking up a knock and ending up without our first choice strikers.

“It’s my job to manage the squad and today was about trying to juggle the squad but ensure we got the win as well.

‘I’m delighted for Stephen Dooley to be back again, it’s been a traumatic and tough time for him.

“It was a tough tackle and he rolled his ankle and did it bad which meant six to eight weeks out.

“We’re at the eight week mark now and he’s itching to get back. We put the reins on him a bit this week just to make sure he is ready for the big games coming up in the next few weeks.

“We took a little bit of extra time over it and thankfully the squad have been able to get through it but it’s magic to have him back out there again.”

Ards boss Colin Nixon was pleased with the response he got from his players after they fell 2-0 behind with only eight minutes on the clock.

“I thought conditions were tough it was unbelievable and the wind was frightening not that I think that enabled Coleraine to get two nil in front,” he said

“At that stage I was thinking here we go but I believe in this group of players and I thought we could get back in the match and we did.

“We’d talked about a good start and we didn’t get it.

“For the last twenty minutes of the first half we were possibly the better team.

“I thought we huffed and puffed second half and we weren’t at our best. I honestly feel that if we were we’d have taken something from the game.

“Coleraine are where they are because they’re a quality team but we didn’t take our chances.

“You can’t give teams like Coleraine a two nil start and as well as we’ve defended this last few weeks it wasn’t good in the first twenty today but you get periods like that.

“Credit to the team they dug in and we stuck at it and I feel we gave Coleraine a good match today.”