Bannsiders back to winning ways again

Stephen Dooley back in action for Coleraine against Ards at The Showgrounds today, the wide man scored the opening goal in the Bannsiders 2-0 win. PICTURE: Derek Simpson
Stephen Dooley back in action for Coleraine against Ards at The Showgrounds today, the wide man scored the opening goal in the Bannsiders 2-0 win. PICTURE: Derek Simpson

Coleraine put their winless run behind them with a morale boosting 2-0 win over fellow strugglers Ards.

Stephen Dooley and Eoin Bradley fired the all important goals in the second half to give the Bannsiders their first win in nine games, depite playing with 10 men for the last half hour.

The hosts created the first opportunity with only four minutes on the clock as Stephen Dooley teed up the returning Stephen Lowry, but his shot was easily saved by Alan Blayney.

Ards responded on eight minutes with Mark McClelland glancing a header just wide of the target before they went even closer two minutes later as Neill Dougan’s effort was parried by Ferry, but Ogilby got in to nick the ball away from McClelland, who was looking for a tap in.

At the other end Lowry drew a great save out of Blayney on 23 minutes as he glanced Harkin’s free kick goalwards, but the Linfield loanee tipped over.

Ards responded with both James Knowles and William Faulkner testing Ferry with shots from distance just before the break.

The deadlock was finally broken 10 minutes after the restart as Dooley rifled home from close range after Ards failed to clear their lines properly from a long throw. Eoin Bradley teed up the wide man who fired low past Blayney.

The Bannsiders suffered a blow on 59 minutes as David Ogilby was shown a red card for a foul on Faulkner. The Ards man latched on to a mistake by Ryan McIlmoyle and raced in on goal only to be upended by the big defender just outside the box.

But rather than fade away Coleraine actually got stronger with Bradley in particular putting in a terrific shift up front on his own.

The hosts were still looking the more likelier team to score and on 78 minutes they were handed an opportunity to double their lead as Andy Hunter pulled back Bradley in the box.

The striker dusted himself down and fired his ninth goal of the season past Blayney for the spot to seal a vital win for Oran Kearney’s men.

Coleraine: Ferry, Canning, McIlmoyle, Douglas, Ogilby, Hegarty, Lowry (Tommons 82), Harkin, Dooley (Carson 88), McDaid (Beverland 61), E Bradley.

Subs: Owens, Browne.

Goals: Dooley (55), E Bradley (78).

Bookings: Dooley, McDaid.

Sent off: Ogilby (59).

Ards: Blayney, Gordon, Hunter, Armstrong, McCullough, Smith (McMillen 60), Knowles, Faulkner, Mitchell (McMillan 60), McClelland (Arthurs 16), Dougan.

Subs: Gibson, McKibben.

Bookings: Dougan, Hunter, Armstrong.

Referee: Arnold Hunter.