CHALLENGING SCHEDULE HAS TAKEN ITS TOLL: KEARNEY

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ORAN Kearney admitted his side’s demanding schedule caught up with them on Saturday.

The Bannsiders carved out the better chances on the day against a resolute Donegal Celtic side, but they couldn’t find that all-important goal as they seemed to run out of steam and ideas.

“It’s been a tough few weeks for us with the volume of games we’ve had to play in such a short period of time,” Kearney told Times Sport after the game.

“We saw some signs of lethargy in the Ballymena game last week. A goal can give you that wee adrenalin shot and a lift and we got it at the right time last week and the players kicked on from that.

“We were hoping it would be the same again today. Without saying to the players we had a fair idea we wouldn’t be on top form today, we knew there would be a lot of baggage left over from the last couple of weeks.

“On days like this when your wee sniffs at goal you have to take them and see out the win.

“The first goal was the important one but unfortunately we just couldn’t grab it.

“We carved out a few good chances today. David (Scullion) hit the post at the start of the second half and we had a couple of sniffs early on in the first, but unfortunately we didn’t manage to take any of them.

“On days like today the first goal is always vital. With DC playing five at the back and keeping so many behind the ball it takes us to score first for them to change what they are doing.

“The longer the game goes on with the score line unchanged then they are going to keep doing what they have been doing and rightly so.

“You could say it’s two points dropped for us, but to be fair to Donegal Celtic they came here today with a game plan, probably the same one which they used last week, and they frustrated us for large parts of the game.

“They made it very tough for us and they are entitled to do that. I would do exactly the same if I was in their position.

“You have to give them a lot of credit for how they stuck to their plan. Yes they maybe rode their luck on a few occasions. But as I say they made it very difficult for us, they came to get a result and they got it.”

DC boss Pat McAllister, who was dismissed along with Bannsiders skipper David Ogilby on Saturday, was delighted to see his side pick up a point and another clean sheet.

“I’m delighted especially coming off the back of last week’s win over Ballinamallard,” said McAllister after the game.

“We defended well, that’s two clean sheets in a row, if I’m being a bit picky we might have gone on to win the game after Coleraine went down to 10 men.

“We had targeted four points from the games at Ballinamallard and Coleraine, they are two top six teams, so it’s particularly pleasing for us to achieve that and get two clean sheets into the bargain.

“Pat McShane was outstanding for us today. But credit must go to the entire team from the front men right through to the keeper who all worked their socks off.

“We were able to restrict Coleraine to half chances because of that.”