Coleraine manager Oran Kearney had mixed emotions following Saturday’s 2-0 win over Warrenpoint Town at The Showgrounds.
Goals from Darren McCauley and James McLaughlin gave the Bannsiders their sixth win of the season to consolidate fourth place in the table.
But if truth be told Kearney’s men struggled to replicate the performance levels of last week’s win at Portadown.
They needed a couple of smart stops from Michael Doherty to keep their lead intact as the visitors pushed them hard.
“It was far from the most convincing performance I’ve saw us produce,” he told Times Sport after the game.
“Last week we had the result and the performance, today I think it was only the result, the performance wasn’t really there.
“The goals came in what was probably the only 15 minutes of football we played on the day.
“The first one was something out of nothing, Rodney wins the first header and keeps it alive, and to be fair to Darren McCauley it’s a cracking finish.
“We kicked on for the fifteen minutes leading up to the end of the first half, we pressured them high up the pitch.
“That’s where the second goal comes from. Darren does really well to keep the ball alive, and James does what he does, he’s a predator when he gest into those areas and he showed it with another great finish. It was nice to see it go in.”
Kearney is hoping the result is a sign of maturity and learning from his young players.
He knows only too well that he has been shaking his head in the past as his sides produced excellent performances but ultimatley finished games with nothing to show for his efforts.
“I remember a couple of seasons ago against Cliftonville we were beat 5-1 on the day, but it was one of the best performances of that season,” said Kearney.
“That’s football unfortunately. Today our performance was no where close to what we would expect, but in the same stretch we have managed the game.
“Doc has pulled off three or four good saves to keep the clean sheet and we’ve got the three points.
“I hope we are learning from games like this in the past.
“There was a few things we spoke about at half time in relation to the second half and our decision making.
“When you play like that you don’t take risks and you play within yourself.
“We should have been a wee bit smarter with how we played it.
“The chances Warrenpoint created was through our undoing and being negative trying to play backwards instead of forwards.
“But we are a young side and it is a learning curve, but you’re better learning your lessons picking up three points than when you don’t pick up the points.
“We’ll dust ourselves down and freshen up this week and hopefully we’ll get a better performance next Saturday.”
For Warrenpoint Town boss Barry Gray it was polar opposites after the game.
He was delighted with his side’s performance on the day, but was left disappointed by the final result.
“The team is low in confidence given where we are sitting at the minute,” said Gray afterwards.
“You ask for the performance today and you get it, but we are frustrated with the silly goals we’ve given away.
“There are positives to take away from the game although the players may not feel like that at the moment because it’s another defeat.
“It’s tough enough to come here and try and get a result without gifting goals like we did today.
“We are frustrated with the result, but as I’ve just said to the boys when you gift teams goals like that do you really deserve anything? The hard truth of the matter is you don’t.
“We gave away two silly goals at two very crucial times of the game and it’s cost us.
“We are fairly pleased with the performance levels. it’s something we have lacked in previous weeks. We have done it across 90 minutes today.
“Their keeper has made a couple of good stops at crucial times, but that’s why he’s there.
“If we had managed to get a goal back then with 15 or 20 minutes to go it would have put the game on its head.
“We’ve another tough task next week against Crusaders, so it really is uphill all the way. You just need that wee change of luck and the break of the ball.
“Unfortunately we didn’t get it today, but maybe we will next week.”