IRISH LEAGUE: Three off as Cliftonville and Coleraine share the spoils

Cliftonville's Daniel Hughes challenges Coleraine's David Ogilby. 'Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye
Cliftonville's Daniel Hughes challenges Coleraine's David Ogilby. 'Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye


Coleraine and Cliftonville had to settle for a point apiece in a game with little goal scoring incident, but one which had three players dismissed.

The visitors looked the more threatening of the two, but the real story was the performance of referee Arnold Hunter who dished out a number of soft yellow cards.

Two of which led to the sending offs of Paul Finnegan and Adam Mullan.

Jaimie McGovern also saw red as he lashed out at Saul McCaughan in the closing stages.

Eoin Bradley made his return to the Coleraine starting line up following the injury he pictured up against Portadown six weeks ago.

Neither side imposed themselves in the early stages as the hosts set-up with a 4-1-4-1 formation to try and nullify Coleraine's attacking threat.

The first real opportunity came on 25 minutes as Jason Mooney flapped at Neil McCafferty's corner, the ball fell to Gareth McConaghie at the back post but the big keeper redeemed himself saving the defender's snapshot.

Eamonn Seyday had to be alert to flick away Jamie McGonigle's dangerous cross four minutes later as Ian Parkhill was winding up for the shot at the back post.

A clever dummy by Bradley created another opening for the Bannsiders on 39 minutes, McGonigle teed up McCauley on the edge of the box, but Mooney saved the shot.

Bradley showed good strength to out-muscle Tomas Cosgrove three minutes before the break, but he couldn't get enough purchase on his shot to trouble Mooney.

The visitors carved out another great chance a minute after the restart as McCafferty picked out the unmarked Kee from a corner, but he couldn't control his shot and fired wide.

Neat build up by the Bannsiders on 53 minutes saw Kane release Bradley into the box, his pull back picked out McGonigle who forced Mooney onto a decent save.

The hosts suffered a blow on 66 minutes as Finnegan was shown a second yellow following a challenge on Kee.

Cliftonville came close to breaking the deadlock with ten minutes to go as Jude Winchester squared the ball back for Chris Ramsey, but his goal-bound shot was deflected wide by Steven Douglas.

The Bannsiders were then reduced to ten men as Mullan was shown a second yellow for handball.

But within a minute Cliftonville lost another player as McGovern was shown a straight red card for lashing out at McCaughan on the touchline.

Cliftonville: Mooney, McGovern, Ramsey, M Donnelly (Lavery 68), Hughes, Seydak, J Donnelly, Winchester, Cosgrove, Nelson (Garrett 56), Finnegan.

Subs: Burke, A Donnelly, Haire.

Coleraine: Johns, Kane, Mullan, Ogilby, McCauley, McCafferty, Kee (Allan 82), McConaghie (Douglas 33), Parkhill (McCaughan 73), McGonigle, Bradley.

Subs: Doherty, Whiteside.

Referee: Arnold Hunter