Season starts again now

Press Eye Belfast - Northern Ireland 17th December 2016  Danske Bank Premiership - Coleraine Vs Ards.  Coleraine's Rodney Brown with Ards' Ross Arthurs  Picture by Jonathan Porter/Press Eye.
Press Eye Belfast - Northern Ireland 17th December 2016 Danske Bank Premiership - Coleraine Vs Ards. Coleraine's Rodney Brown with Ards' Ross Arthurs Picture by Jonathan Porter/Press Eye.
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Coleraine put a halt to their recent run of defeats at they shared the spoils with Ards at The Showgrounds on Saturday.

Consecutive defeats to Carrick Rangers, Cliftonville, Glenavon and Ballymena United have threatened to derail what has been a very good season to date for the Bannsiders.

Boss Oran Kearney shuffled his pack resting key players in the league games against the Reds and the Lurgan Blues in preparation for the League Cup semi final.

Unfortunately the Bannsiders crashed out at the hands of the Sky Blues increasing the pressure on Kearney and his teamas not only was it a fourth successive defeat, but also a fourth game without scoring.

On Saturday though they battled back from a goal down to seal a draw with Colin Nixon’s men and Kearney now hopes they can get the season back on trackagain.

“I said to the lads today we have 20 league games played and have 30 points we now draw a line under where we are at and the second part of the season starts today and we aim for another 30 points in those remaining 18 games.

“We have to show that we have learnt from last year and we kick on again for the second part of the season.

“A top six finish is well within our reach and we could have closed the gap further today.

“I will take responsibility for the defeats against Cliftonville and Glenavon, I have no problem with that, but we are not out of touch from the teams around us, there’s games there for us to go and close that gap.”

As for the match Kearney was pleased to see his side look a bit more like themselves.

They battled back from David McAllister’s opener for Ards to grab a draw. But they could have had a bit more if they had taken their chances.

“The game ebbed and flowed and it was nearly like a cup tie at one stage with chances at either end,” he said.

“We had a really good spell after the break, we got the goal, had a couple of other chances including the one-on-one for Jamie McGonigle.

“We have saw him finish those all the time, it was disappointing he didn’t today because those gilt-edged chances are vital.

“And right at the end Brad Lyons has to finish that chance too.”

New Ards boss Nixon was pleased with his side’s efforts.

“I’ve been very pleased with the endeavour shown by the players this week and how hard they have worked, so we’ll take a draw.

“I told them when I took over I wanted honesty and commitment and they showed that today.

“We have had a poor run of results, but I don’t know why because there is quality in the squad.

“Three points would have been great, but this is a really tough place to come.

“I can’t wait for the next match now, I really enjoyed today.”