Kearney praises players after very tiring week

Jamie McGonigle turns to celebrate as the Carrick defence cannot prevent the ball hitting the back of the net during Coleraine's 2-1 win over Carrick Rangers at the Showgrounds on Saturday. wk48126mb
Jamie McGonigle turns to celebrate as the Carrick defence cannot prevent the ball hitting the back of the net during Coleraine's 2-1 win over Carrick Rangers at the Showgrounds on Saturday. wk48126mb

Coleraine made it 10 league games unbeaten and moved up to third in the table following their win over Carrick Rangers on Saturday.

Second half strikes from Lyndon Kane and Jamie McGonigle put the Bannsiders in control.

Jamaie McGonigle celebrates his goal against Carrick Rangers at the weekend. wk48128mb

Jamaie McGonigle celebrates his goal against Carrick Rangers at the weekend. wk48128mb

But Aaron Harmon’s late strike set up a tense final few minutes for the hosts.

They held on though to leapfrog Linfield into third place in the table.

It was the Bannsiders’ third win in the space of a week much to the delight of boss Oran Kearney at the end.

“We were made to work hard for it,” he told Times Sport afterwards.

“We knew what we were coming in to today.

“Having come through the euphoria of Wednesday night, and the adrenalin and energy we expended, I knew coming here today, particularly in the first half it was going to be hard work.

“To be fair we were compact, and we restricted them to not an awful lot in the first half.

“We found a bit of life in the second half and got our goals. I was just disappointing to concede the goal we did so near the end as it left it a wee bit scary at the end.

“But all in all at the end of a three-game week to come out of it with three wins is brilliant and all credit to the players.

“We were cruising at 2-0 and were nice and comfortable. The big focus was the clean sheet, but it was a sloppy clearance and we didn’t close down the player, but he produced a good finish.”

Kearney shuffled his pack resting Darren McCauley andMcGonigle.

Both though came off the bench to make a big impact on the game.

“I have to trust the players and they have to trust me,” said Kearney.

“Darren and Jamie’s exclusion today was not performance based. The two of them have been doing so fantastically well.

“Having played the game myself I know a third 90 minutes in a week can be tough going. The way they both play they expend a lot of energy and we felt today we would freshen it up with two guys who didn’t play during the week.

“We thought it would give us a wee bit of extra energy and then Darren and Jamie would have at least 30 minutes in their legs, and so it proved.

“I thought Darren really gave us a lift when he came on and Jamie obviously scored the second goal.

“Fair play to both of them, they have been a big plus for us today.”

The first goal came from the unlikely source of defender Kane. Kearney though was delighted the teenager took the gamble and got himself into a scoring position.

“The final thing I said as the boys were leaving the changing room for the second half was when you’re not firing on all cylinder and it’s a bit of a grind someone has to grab the game by the scruff of the neck.

“I said to them someone has to go and anticipate something and take a bit of a gamble, and Lyndon did that.

“It was a switch of play and instead of passing like he usually does he goes on a mazy run, it opens up and he gets back on the end of it. The lads are saying he mishit it with his left foot, but we’ll take it.

“It was the catalyst we needed and it spurred us on and we found our feet,” added the Bannsiders boss.