Coleraine Under-11s travelled to Oxford United in confident mood for the NIBFA Cup quarter final.
Surprisingly the first half was a very low key affair with both sides failing to relax and pass the ball around.
Pierce Quigley and Lewis Dallas sent long range shots over the bar but there was little else to report. Owen Benson dealt excellently with the many high balls coming his way.
The second half didn’t really show much improvement but as the boys tired both sides started to create chances.
Disaster struck for the Bannsiders on the half hour when Oxford caught the defence out and broke strongly for their striker to hammer home an unstoppable shot. For the next ten minutes Coleraine battled hard to get back into the game with Patrick Kelly twisting and turning to make the breakthrough but getting no joy.
With Coleraine pushing forward Oxford exploited the space at the back to break again and hit a low strike which Owen MacKenzie thought heʼd saved only to see the ball roll agonisingly over the line despite Mark Lowryʼs attempts to clear.
Coleraine tried to put more into attack by throwing on Joshua Campbell for the effective left back Ryan Canning but five minutes later the game was over as a contest when Owen could only parry a high shot under his own bar.
With the last kick of the game Lewis Dallas scored a superb goal from the edge of the box but it was scant consolation for a Coleraine side who really didnʼt do themselves justice on the day.
Congratulations to Oxford Utd. Their players, coaches and supporters were an absolute credit to their club and we wish them all the very best in the Cup this year.
Many thanks to the parents who travelled through with the Coleraine boys to the game.
MOM - Owen Benson