CHRISTMAS CHEER

StEVIE Lowry is hoping to give the fans a belated Christmas present with a victory over Ballymena United on Boxing Day.

The midfielder is determined to keep the Bannsiders’ unbeaten run over the ‘old enemy’ going when they travel to Warden Street on Wednesday and make sure the travelling support head back down the A26 full of Christmas cheer.

“I just love the Boxing Day games,” Lowry told Times Sport ahead of the big clash.

“I know how much this means to the fans and we’d love nothing more to give them a victory.

“Boxing Day is a special day in the local football calendar everyone enjoys it - it’s a great day out.

“We have a great record over Ballymena of late and we want to keep it going. You always think it’s going to end sometime, but as I said we are determined to keep it going.

“It will be a tough game, derby games always are, but the first goal will be crucial. We will be determined to get off to a good start again.

“It’s a busy period with some big games if you pick up a couple of wins you can open up a bit of a gap on the teams below you, but if you don’t win you can get sucked down again so there’s everything to play for.”

Fans are reminded that they will not be able to gain entry to Ballymena Showgrounds without a ticket after the game was made an all-ticket affair for the first time by Ballymena Borough Council.

Tickets will be available from Coleraine Showgrounds on Christmas Eve morning between 10am and 12 noon.

Ballymena United officials have also been given the go-ahead to sell tickets on the day of the game, with many casual fans expected to make a decision on the morning.

Coleraine fans may now purchase tickets at the Coleraine FC Social Club between 11am and 1.30pm on 26th.

After that time, supporters will be able to purchase tickets from the car park of Ballymena Bowling Club, Old Ballymoney Road, right up until kick-off at 3pm.

Coleraine have been allocated 1200 tickets (adult £10, concession £7).

Meanwhile, Coleraine’s home game against Ballinamallard United, which was postponed on Saturday, has been rearranged for mid-January.

The game at The Showgrounds was one of five to fall foul of the weather at the weekend after heavy rain during the night. Crusaders clash with Linfield was the only Danske Bank Premiership game to get the go-ahead on the Crues’ 3G pitch.

The other games will now be played on Tuesday 15 January, kick-off 7.45pm.

It’s Oran Kearney’s side second rearranged fixture in the new year after it was confirmed last week that the Bannsiders away game at Cliftonville had also been changed.

The Bannsiders were due to visit the current league leaders on Friday 25 January 2013, however Cliftonville are now due to play Crusaders in the Irn Bru League Cup Final on Saturday 26 January.

As a result, the IFA have informed both Coleraine and Cliftonville that their Danske Bank Premiership match will now be played at Solitude on Tuesday 29 January (KO 7.45pm).