Dream come true for Coleraine striker Alex Gawne

Alex Gawne celebrates his late winner for Coleraine
Alex Gawne celebrates his late winner for Coleraine

Scoring your first League goal is a special moment in any young footballer’s life.

But scoring your first goal which turns out to be a dramatic last-gasp winner in a five-goal thriller to take your team back to the top of the league takes some beating.

On Saturday Coleraine’s teenage striker Alexander Gawne experienced just that.

He stepped off the bench on 84 minutes with the Bannsiders desperatley searching for a winner.

And two minutes later he duly supplied it with a spectacular finish.

It’s a moment that will live long in Gawne’s memory, his only regret is it didn’t come in front of the Coleraine fans at the Railway End.

“That’s my first league goal for the club and it means a lot to me,” he said after the game.

“It’s just a pity it was down at the other end and not the Railway end.

“If it had been in front of the Coleraine fans it would have been even better as the supporters would have been going crazy.”

Bannsiders boss Oran Kearney went for broke in search of the winner taking off defender Aaron Traynor for Gawne.

What instructions did the gaffer give the young frontman before he too to the field?

“Oran just told me to play up through the middle when I came on,” he said.

“Obviously I know as a striker you play within the box and you’ll get your chances.

“Luckily that one came along for me and I scored.

“I knew the keeper was at the near post after making the save, so I was really only trying to hook it back across the goal.

“Luckily I got it on target and it went into the back of the net.

“It’s a good win and it possibly means more because of the nature of the victory.

“The games against teams like Linfield look after themselves, no-one needs any motivation for that.

“But the games against the teams at the other end are the games that you have to get yourself up for.

“It will be another tough game next week against Institute we just have to be patient and take our chances when they come.”

The Academy graduate is hoping he can force his way into Kearney’s starting line up on a more regular basis after his heroics.

“That keeps me in contention for a starting spot and puts pressure on Oran I suppose as there are a lot of strikers at the club,” said Gawne.

“But the fact that I came on and got the goal it maybe puts me ahead of some now.

“I want to keep pushing on and keep challenging for a starting spot.

“I want to get more starts and more game time, that’s what matters at my age.