Missed opportunities proved costly again for Coleraine

Craig Moore forces his way past David Magowan

Craig Moore forces his way past David Magowan

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ORAN Kearney admitted it was the story of Coleraine’s season as they were once again made to pay for not taking their chances.

At 1-1 going into the second half against Crusaders the Bannsiders looked to have the momentum after Curtis Allen had equalised Eamon McAlister’s early strike for the visitors.

Stevie Lowry, Stewart McMullan, David Ogilby and Jamie Tomelty all went close to edge the hosts in front - but it just wasn’t close enough.

And they were hit with the sucker punch midway through the half as Timmy Adamson and that man McAlister fired two quick fire goals to seal the win for Stephen Baxter’s men and leave Kearney contemplating what might have been again.

“It’s disappointing to lose a game in which we had so many gilt edged chances to score,” he told Times Sport after the game.

“But that’s football and it’s probably been the story of our season as missed chances have cost us in quite a few games.

“It was a tough week for us after last Saturday’s cup defeat, but to be fair to the lads today they showed the attitude and application that was missing against Portadown.

“If the efforts by Stevie Lowry or Jamie Tomelty had gone in it could have been a different game, but as I say that’s football, you seem to get those wee bits of luck when things are going for you.

“I thought we had two good shouts for a penalty today too, but maybe we’ll get those decisions in the next game.

“We just have to keep going until we do. We’ve plenty to play for, I just hope that’s us pulling ourselves out of that we hole we were in.”

The Bannsiders got off to the worst possible start as McAlister fired in with only three minutes gone. But credit must go to Kearney’s side as the bounced back and took the game to the second placed team and deservedly drew level when Curtis Allen headed home David Scullion’s cross on 28 minutes.

Coleraine turned the screw after the restart creating several chances but unfortunately they were unable to take any of them. The Crues though were less charitable with Adamson and McAlister both hitting the target much to the delight of boss Stephen Baxter, who was quick to praise the returning wide man.

“That’s Eamon’s first game since the opening day of the season here at Coleraine when he tore an abductor muscle,” revealed Baxter.

“He did exceptionally well today. He has natural ability and is a great goal scorer.

“The first was a lovely crisp strike and he finished the second really well too.

“We’re glad to have Eamon back to full fitness again. We’re missing a few like Gary McCutcheon, who are a bit more long term, so it’s a real boost to us to have someone of Eamon’s ability available again.”