COLERAINE and Linfield had to make do with a point each in a disappointing game at The Showgrounds on Tuesday night.
There was a typical end of season feel to this encounter with good chances at a premium. Both sides did manage to find the target. Michael Carvill edged the Blues in front just before the break before Curtis Allen cancelled it out 10 minutes into the second half.
Linfield were almost handed a present by Coleraine skipper David Ogilby with nine minutes on the clock as Peter Thompson chased down the defender’s back header, but he couldn’t get enough on the ball to divert it past Michael Doherty, who was a late call up after Gregg Shannon was injured in the warm up.
Coleraine should have broken the deadlock on 25 minutes when Allen’s cross from the left found the unmarked Gareth Tommons at the back post, the midfielder dallied though and ended up screwing his shot wide of the mark under pressure from Ross Glendinning.
Linfield responded as Mark McAllister whipped a great ball into the near post and this time Thompson forced a good save from Doherty with a diving header on the half hour.
The visitors went close again six minutes later as Philip Lowry raced on to a loose ball and rounded Doherty. The angle was tight for him though and the keeper responded to push away the midfielder’s shot.
The game was finally warming up as Coleraine hit back straight away. Kyle McVey picked out Joel Bradley and the teenager came agonisingly close to scoring his first goal for the Bannsiders as his lobbed effort came back off the post.
But right on half time the deadlock was finally broken and it was the visitors who got the goal. McAllister slipped a great ball through for Carvill and the diminutive wide man poked the ball past Doherty to give his side the lead.
Oran Kearney’s men didn’t have long to wait for the equaliser though as former Blues’ man Allen struck 10 minutes after the restart for his 20th of the season. Paul Owens combined with Stephen Lowry before picking the striker out with a great cross which Allen duly nodded past Glendinning from six yards.
David Jeffrey shuffled his pack to try and find a winner bringing on teenage striker Conor McMenamin for Thompson and the young man twice went close to a goal in the closing stages, but on both occasions he failed to trouble Doherty.