Five star Coleraine

Oran Kearney praised his side's honesty and endeavour after they made it five wins on the bounce at Ballinamallard.

Monday, 23rd January 2017, 7:41 am
Coleraine's Jamie McGonigle celebrates his second goal against Ballinamallard in the Danska Bank Premiership at Ferney pk.Presseye Photography Picture - John McVitty -07771987378 ©

Coleraine were down to the bare bones going into the game at Ferney Park.

Steven Douglas, Neil McCafferty, Jordan Allan and Eoin Bradley were all suspended, while James McLaughlin, Gary Twigg and Michael Doherty were ruled out through injury.

Kearney named Twigg and Doherty as substitutes merely to fill out his team sheet, but in reality he only had youngsters Mark Edgar, Saul McCaughan and Ryan Whiteside to call upon.

“It was well documented through the week that we had a few out today,” said Kearney.

“I’ve a squad of 19 players and we had seven unavailable today.

“We had two ghosts on the bench today and three who were actually available for selection, with that none of those lads even have much first team experience.

“The eleven who started the game have a lot of experience and we have a huge amount of faith in them.

“We knew it was going to be one of those days when we had to really dig in.

“I thought Ian Parkhill was brilliant today, he did nearly three roles at times, especially in the second half.

“Ballinamallard are on their best run of form for the season at the minute.

“We knew coming here today would be tougher than at any other stage in the season.

“Coming into the last ten minutes or so they dominating large parts of possession and put us under a bit of pressure.

“But Ian in particular put in a big shift dropping in to midfield then chasing down defenders.

“It’s that honesty and endeavour that you crave for in players.

“He’s a dream to work with and it was that attitude which got us over the line today.”

Jamie McGonigle scored either side of the break to give the Bannsiders a two-goal lead, but the hosts hit back through Ross Taheny to set up an interesting final half hour.

The Mallards looked dangerous but Coleraine stood firm to take all three points much to the disappointment of Gavin Dykes.

“I’m disappointed we didn’t take anything from the game,” he said.

“I thought for our efforts in the last 25 minutes we deserved something out of the game.

“We didn’t start the game well, we had to go 2-0 down before we got started, then we woke up a wee bit.

“But you can’t start games the way we did today.

“We gave away bad goals, we were poor defensively for both goals, we gave them the two goals.

“We pulled one back from a corner and after that I thought there was only one side who were going to score again.

“Their keeper made a fantastic save to deny Ryan Curran what would have been the equaliser.

“It’s disappointing as we were on a decent run, but we just have to get up and get on with it again.

“If we play like we did in the last 25 minutes we’ll give anyone a game, but the first 25 minutes just wasn’t good enough.

“We can’t start like that. It leaves us struggling and then we react.

“Coleraine have beaten us three times this season and that shouldn’t happen in this league, you should be able to pick up points.”