Rodney McAree pleased with professional job by holders Coleraine

Tennent's Irish Cup holders Coleraine made sure there was no cup upset at The Showgrounds with a professional display against Championship side H&W Welders.

Monday, 7th January 2019, 10:59 am
Updated Thursday, 10th January 2019, 2:32 pm
James Mc Laughlin celebrates his goal. Picture by Dessie Loughery/Pacemaker Press

The Bannsiders are bidding to make it to their third final in a row and convincingly saw off the challenge of Norman Kelly’s side with goals in either half.

The hosts were always in control of the tie and boss Rodney McAree was pleased with the professionalism from his side.

“Today was job done and we move on into the next round,” he said.

“It wasn’t the prettiest of matches. I thought the first-half was a non-event to be honest, we were poor and struggled to get up to the levels that we needed.

“Thankfully we got a goal through Alex Gawnedeflected effort to go one-nil up.

“I thought we more in control and played better in the second-half despite them hitting the post.

“That was maybe a little scare that we needed and James (McLauglin) came off the bench to score his fourth goal in as many games which was great to see.

“We were standing on the sideline and I thought the front two were better in the second-half but we always felt James would score if we could get him on the pitch.”

There was no place in the squad for the transfer-listed Darren McCauley, but McAree handed debuts to new recruits Ben Doherty and Jamie Glackin, both though didn’t appear for the second half after picking up slight knocks.

Mark Edgar came on as a second half substitute after rejoining the club.

“I thought Jamie didn’t get into the game as much as I’d like him to but that’s to be expected as he hasn’t played a lot of football and is a little bit rusty,” said McAree.

“Ben has been playing football and I thought he was very good.

“Both players took a knock and were removed through precaution.

“Mark came on in the second-half and I thought he done extremely well and it’s going to take him a few weeks to get up to match fitness.

“I think the competition for places has helped with the recent run of good results as we are getting options off the bench and giving those on the pitch a push.”

Welders boss Norman Kelly was pleased with the performance of his side despite the defeat.

“I was delighted with the first half, I thought we were well in the game at 0-0,” he said.

“We asked them to go out and work hard and they did that against the Irish Cup holders.

“They have quality all over the pitch, and we knew that quality was probably going to beat us in the end.

“But I’m delighted with the boss, particularly how they went about things in the first half.

“There was no way Coleraine were going to slip up today though.

“But credit to our boys they put in a good shift and didn’t let themselves down.

“We lost two players during the weekwho would have started today.

“But the boys who replaced them came in and took their opportunity.

“Hitting the post at 1-0 was a game changer.

“Who knows what could have happened after that if it had gone in, because we have good quality across the pitch too.

“We brought in a couple of young players too today as we had nothing to lose and they did very well.

“I’m pleased with the day apart from the result, but there’s not too many teams who are going to enjoy coming to Coleraine.

“The big dream is to be playing at this level regularly.

“Off the park plans are in motion for this. Work on a new ground has started for us.

“Licensing has all been agreed for next season, and we’ll be doing our utmost to do it on the park too.”