It was a tough day at the office for Coleraine’s young players on Saturday as they went down 3-0 against an experienced Glenavon side.
A week after picking up the plaudits for their impressive victory over Dungannon Swifts, the Bannsiders were brought back down to earth again at Mourneview Park.
A couple of defensive mix ups and a superb team goal by the Lurgan Blues made it an unhappy afternoon for Oran Kearney and his men.
The Bannsiders boss was philosophical in his assessment afterwards though.
“It was a culture lesson,” he said.
“We knew what we were coming to. Gary (Hamilton) has a load of good experienced players, we are probably at the other end of the spectrum.
“It showed at times. Although we huffed and puffed, I just don’t think we did enough.
“We had six teenagers on the pitch due to our injury problems. It’s a learning curve for them.”
Goals from Andy Hall, Rhys Marshall and substitute Andy McGrory sent the Mourneview Park fans home happy and the Coleraine supporters with a long journey back to the north coast with no points.
Hall tapped home after 28 minutes before Marshall bagged the second against the run of play on 70 minutes.
McGrory made it 3-0 five minutes from time.
Hall began the move which set up his goal by robbing Howard Beverland of possession. Bradley provided the pass for Hall to finish off.
Bradley had another chance while Marshall clipped the outside of the post.
James McLaughlin had an effort tipped over by Jonny Tuffey as Coleraine tried to respond.
McLaughlin was off-target and Jamie McGonigle curled a shot into the hands of Tuffey in the second half.
Marshall and McGrory made the points safe for the home side.
Former Coleraine striker Eoin Bradley was a thorn in the Bannsiders’ side all day. Speaking afterwards Bradley
said he felt the Lurgan Blues can go even better than last season’s third-place finish.
“It’s a tall order to follow, but why not?” said Bradley. “It would be a great achievement if we were to get into the top three again at the end of the season.
“We’ve strengthened the squad. A top-six place is now a must, so there is no reason why we can’t be up there.
“But this is a tough league. We take one game at a time. We haven’t set any targets, we go out to win every match.
“We’ve got a game in hand (against Portadown), so we can improve on our position.”
Coleraine’s day was made worse with the news that defender David Ogilby is set to be out for some time after picking up a bad injury at Mourneview Park.
The big centre half fell awkwardly in a challenge with Bradley on 35 minutes.
In tryingto break his fall Ogilby put his hands out but ending up sustaining a shoulder injury.
“It looks as though I’ve broken my collar bone,” he confirmed to Times Sport after the game.
“The Doctor examined me when I came off and it doesn’t look good, I’m in a lot of pain with it.”