Howard says goodbye

Howard Beverland has left Coleraine. �Russell Pritchard / Presseye
Howard Beverland has left Coleraine. �Russell Pritchard / Presseye

Coleraine FC suffered a double blow at the weekend.

Defeat to Glentoran on Friday night ended their hopes of sealing European football next season.

But on Sunday the news broke captain Howard Beverland was leaving the Ballycastle Road to join champions Crusaders.

The Ballymoney man captained the Bannsiders for the final time in the 2-1 defeat at home to the Glens.

His decision to leave brings to an end his ten year association to the club.

“Friday 6th May 2016 brought an end to 10 years at Coleraine FC,” Howard posted on his Facebook page.

“From a 16 year old in reserves to making my debut at 17! To spend 10 years at such a great club with great people has been a blessing!

“To all my past managers/coaching staff, Marty who gave me my debut, Davy and particularly Oran over the past five seasons who gave me the opportunity to captain the club!

“To all past players and to all current players who I have had pleasure of playing with...thank you!

“To the fans who have supported me throughout my career and who have been there through the highs and the lows a special thank you!

“A new journey and challenge awaits with Crusaders FC but the last 10 years will never be forgotten!”

It was a disappointing end to Beverland’s Coleraine career with a controversial refereeing decision the main talking point after the Glentoran game.

With 18 minutes gone The Bannsiders thought they had broke the deadlock only for a late flag to dampen their celebrations.

“For us having started the game quite well and having scored a legitimate goal only for it to be chalked off by what I would call a crazy decision, is devastating,” said Oran Kearney.

“I would rather it happened last week in a league match as you don’t want to be coming away from night’s like this with it being taken out of your hands.”

“Yes there’s still 60 minutes and a lot of football to go, but with the pressure and the magnitude on nights like this it’s so important to get the first goal.”