Agony as Bannsiders lose seven goal thriller

Gary Browne celebrates his opener for Coleraine against Cliftonville
Gary Browne celebrates his opener for Coleraine against Cliftonville
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Coleraine were left stunned as Cliftonville produced a storming comeback to claim all three points in a seven-goal thriller at The Showgrounds.

The Reds battled back three times even after going down to 10 men before Diarmuid O’Carroll fired in the winner.

It was the visitors who created the first opening with seven minutes on the clock as Ronan Scannell picked Joe Gormley out with a cross, but Wayne Drummond easily gathered.

The striker was at it again five minutes later as he latched on to Boyce’s lay off, but again Drummond denied him parrying away his volley.

It was Coleraine though who broke the deadlock with sixteen minutes gone. Gary Browne rose unopposed to head in Paul Owens’ inswinging corner.

It was Cliftonville who looked the more dangerous. Just before the half hour mark Gormley’s flick on released Ryan Catney but he was on the stretch and couldn’t divert the ball goalwards.

But again it was the Bannsiders who were taking their chances as Eoin Bradley held off Jamie McGovern before coolly slotting past Devlin.

Back came the Reds again, however they were finding it difficult to get past Drummond. The stopper produced a tremendous save to deny Marty Donnelly, whose curling effort seemed destined for the top corner on 40 minutes.

Two minutes later they finally beat the keeper as Liam Boyce headed in from close range from Seydak’s cross.

Six minutes after the restart Cliftonville drew level. Joe Gormley raced on to a long ball and dinked a finish over Drummond. But remarkably two minutes later the Bannsiders were back in front again as Aaron Canning stooped to head home Carson’s inswinging free kick.

It was all happening as Boyce headed in Donnelly’s corner on 62 minutes, but within seconds they were down to 10 men as Gormley was shown as second yellow following a challenge on Owens.

Diarmuid O’Carroll almost fired the visitors in front in spectacular fashion on 68 minutes, but once again Drummond produced a great save. The keeper produced yet another excellent save on 74 minutes to tip over Boyce’s header from Donnelly’s cross.

Donnelly was at the heart of it as Cliftonville edged in front for the first time with 10 minutes to go. He skipped past a couple of tackles but his shot was saved, however O’Carroll slotted in the rebound.

COLERAINE: Drummon, Watt, McIlmoyle, Beverland, Douglas, Owens (J Bradley 78), Canning, Tommons, Carson (Stewart 84), E Bradley, Browne (Jennings 69).

Subs: Ogilby, McMullan.

Goals: Browne (16), E Bradley (31), Canning (53)

Booked: McIlmoyle

CLIFTONVILLE: Devlin, McGovern (Doherty 77), R Scannell, Smyth, Seydak, Donnelly (Murray 87), Johnston, Catney, O’Carroll (C Scannell 86), Gormley, Boyce.

Subs: McNally, McNeill.

Goal: Boyce (42), Gormley 51, Boyce (62), O’Carroll (80)

Booked: McGovern, Gormley

Sent Off: Gormley

Referee: Hugh Carvill.