Bannsiders make do with a point after frantic finish

Press Eye N.I. April 9th 2016
Danske Bank Premiershipip
Coleraine FC v Glentoran at Coleraine Showgrounds 
Mandatory credit - Pic by Dylan McIlwaine - Press Eye
Glentoran goalkeeper Elliottt Morris across to deny Coleraine's Ian Parkhill an injury time winner
Press Eye N.I. April 9th 2016 Danske Bank Premiershipip Coleraine FC v Glentoran at Coleraine Showgrounds Mandatory credit - Pic by Dylan McIlwaine - Press Eye Glentoran goalkeeper Elliottt Morris across to deny Coleraine's Ian Parkhill an injury time winner

The old football cliche of a game of two halves was in full flow as Coleraine entertained Glentoran at The Showgrounds on Saturday.

The Bannsiders had the better of the first half and deservedly went in a goal ahead at the break thanks to James McLaughlin’s 20th of the season.

Press Eye N.I. April 9th 2016
Danske Bank Premiershipip
Coleraine FC v Glentoran at Coleraine Showgrounds 
Mandatory credit - Pic by John McIlwaine - Press Eye
Coleraine manager Oran Kearney

Press Eye N.I. April 9th 2016 Danske Bank Premiershipip Coleraine FC v Glentoran at Coleraine Showgrounds Mandatory credit - Pic by John McIlwaine - Press Eye Coleraine manager Oran Kearney

But the Glens came out with real intent after the restart and created numerous chances.

Former Coleraine man Curtis Allen hit the woodwork three times, and Chirs Johns had to be at his best on several occasions to keep the men from The Oval at bay.

But with 13 minutes Steven Douglas was adjudged to have handled the ball as he tussled with Allen. The Glens were awarded a penalty and Douglas was sent for an early bath.

Jonathan Smyth levelled things up, but remarkably it was the hosts who nearly took all three points as Elliot Morris denied both Jamie McGonigle and Ian Parkhill in the dying minutes.

“It was a crazy game,” Kearney told Times Sport after the game.

“This was the second of a double header and probably the first game was the complete opposite of this one.

“We struggled to get going in the first half of that game at The Oval, but we came out really strong in the second half and were unlucky not to take something from the game.

“Today we started really well, but we didn’t get to grips with things in the first ten minutes of the second half.

“Glentoran came out strong, we dealt with the majority of it quite well and it looked like we had weathered the storm and were about to come out again.”

The Bannsiders boss admitted the penalty call was the big turning point in the game, just as it looked as though the home side may hold on to take the win.

“Obviously the penalty puts them straight back into it - it’s a double whammy it’s a penalty and a red card with it,” he said.

“From where I was standing I’m trying to look through a crowd of players. There’s a linesman on that side and he has saw something.

“Chatting with Steven he has tried to reach around Curtis and I don’t know if he’s stumbled and touch the ball, I don’t know if it was accidental or he purposely touched it with his hand.

“I’d have to see it back to make my mind up.

“It’s a big turning point in the game and we get a double punishment for the one offence.”

Despite being reduced to 10 men after Douglas’ dismissal the Bannsiders dug in and kept going.

They created the best chances of the game in the closing stages and but for Morris’ brilliance they would have won.

“To be fair to our lads, we dug deep, we weathered a storm and maybe could have won it but for a couple of cracking saves by Elliot near the end,” said Kearney.

“Jamie’s effort was a great hit, you could see James stop in front of him so he had a call from Jamie, he’s a good one touch finisher and was so unlucky not to score.

“I was right behind the second one from ‘Parky’ and it’s anothe good stop to be fair.

“It would have been harsh on Glentoran at that time if we had scored, but I’ve seen it happen before.”