Coleraine extended their unbeaten run to three games with a goalless draw at home to Portadown on Friday night.
The Bannsiders produced an impressive performance against Ronnie McFall’s much-fancied side and were unlucky not to take all three points.
Goals may have been few and far between but that wasn’t the case for yellow cards with referee Arnold Hunter dishing out 11, seven to Portadown, who also picked up a red after Keith O’Hara was dismissed in the second half.
Oran Kearney included new boys Michael Doherty and Mark Miskimmin in the starting eleven and Miskimmin teed up Joe McNeill, whose first time effort just cleared the cross bar with four minutes gone.
On 36 minutes a good cross from the right by Shane McGinty picked out the unmarked Ian Parkhill, but he failed to hit the target.
McGinty had David Miskelly at full stretch with a powerful shot on 39 minutes and the big stopper did well to get get up and get a foot to Ruairi Harkin’s effort off the rebound.
Mark McAllister was the first player to threaten after the break as he latched on to Darren Murray’s long throw, but Michael Doherty easily gathered his weak shot.
McAllister should have done better on 52 minutes when he found himself through on goal after Canning missed his header. But again the striker’s effort was well stopped by Doherty.
Garry Breen almost grabbed the opener with eight minutes to go but Doherty produced an excellent save to tip over his goalbound header.
The game finished in a flurry of chances with Murray and Breen having headers cleared off the line, before substitute Gary Browne flashed a volley just wide of the target with the final kick of the game.
Coleraine: Doherty, Mullan, Watt, Canning, Ogilby, McGinty, Harkin, McCafferty, McNeill (Hegarty 66), Parkhill (Browne 66), Miskimmin (Moore 90).
Subs: Douglas, Barton.
Portadown: Miskelly, Casement, Redman, O’Hara, Breen, P McMahon (Ramsey 87), Mackle, Garrett, Mouncey (Gault 65), Murray, McAllister.
Subs: Brennan, M McMahon, Soares.
Referee: A Hunter.