Bannsiders left feeling blue by Linfield fightback

Brad Lyons celebrates scoring against Linfield during Saturdays Danske Bank Premiership game at the Showgrounds. William Cherry/Presseye
Brad Lyons celebrates scoring against Linfield during Saturdays Danske Bank Premiership game at the Showgrounds. William Cherry/Presseye

Coleraine were left shocked and stuned on Saturday after they grasped defeat from the jaws of victory at home to Linfield.

2-0 up inside 15 minutes thanks to goals from Ian Parkhill and Brad Lyons the Bannsiders looked on course for the win.

David Ogilby with Linfield's Jimmy Callacher during Saturdays Danske Bank Premiership game at the Showgrounds..

David Ogilby with Linfield's Jimmy Callacher during Saturdays Danske Bank Premiership game at the Showgrounds..

But the Blues hit back with Aaron Burns reducing the deficit just before the break.

And straight after the restart David Healy’s men had drawn themselves level as Mark Haughey headed in from close range.

And the big defender grabbed the winner with six minutes to go as he got on the end of another Ross Gaynor delivery to complete the comeback.

Coleraine boss Oran Kearney was not only disappointed with the result, but also the manner of the goals his side conceded.

Brad Lyons celebrates scoring against Linfield during Saturdays Danske Bank Premiership game at the Showgrounds, Coleraine. William Cherry/Presseye

Brad Lyons celebrates scoring against Linfield during Saturdays Danske Bank Premiership game at the Showgrounds, Coleraine. William Cherry/Presseye

“When you go 2-0 up at home you expect to have enough to see the game through,” he told Times Sport after the game.

“The manner of the goals we conceded and the timing of those goals were very disappointing as well.

“We just didn’t give ourselves the chance to kick on and get something from the game. Their first goal just before half time was a real killer, and from a set piece too.

“We know they are dangerous from set pieces. I wasn’t sur where there was going to come from in open play in the first half.

“They had a few sniffs but I thought we defended quite well. I thought we had weathered the storm of going 2-0 up and them having a wee 10 or 15 minute spell. Then of course the corner comes and disappointingly for us it’s a free header.”

The Bannsiders had a fantastic opportunity to make it 3-0 just before Burns grabbed a goal back for the visitors.

Lyons was was taken out by Reece Glendinning but play was allowed to go on by referee Mervyn Smyth, Parkhill slipped the ball inside to the unmarked James McLaughlin, but his shot flew over the bar after he lost his footing.

“If we were 1-0 up and that happens I don’t think it is as bad,” said Kearney.

“2-0 is that lead were you don’t know whether to stick or twist, but you really want that third goal.

“The ball into James goes a wee bit further out of his feet and sends him wider, so he has to change from going for power for something with a wee bit more precision. Those are pivotal moments and if that chance goes in to make it 3-0 it obviously is going to have a massive impact on the game.”

For all the disappointments of losing the game the Bannsiders still had plenty of positives to take out of the game. They created a number of excellent chances on what was a very difficult surface.

One of those chances was taken by Brad Lyons who unleashed a superb shot past Reece Glendinning.

“Brad has that in his locker. At training we see what a good finisher he is and what a great striker of the ball he is,” said Kearney.

“One of my only frustrations is the amount of goals he has weighed in with, and not even that probably the amount of attempts he has had. Sometimes when he gets into good positions he’ll look to pass instead of having a go.

“Today it was nice to see him let go of one, because he has a load of those in him.”