Bannsiders boss ecstatic after they see off Carrick Rangers

Brad Lyons gets an early goal against Carrick Rangers. Photograph by Declan Roughan
Brad Lyons gets an early goal against Carrick Rangers. Photograph by Declan Roughan

Coleraine made it a hat-trick of wins on the bounce on Saturday as Carrick Rangers became the latest team to be put to the sword.

Goals from Brad Lyons and James McLaughlin either side of Ben Roy’s spectacular equaliser for the hosts sealed the three points.

Lyons nodded the Bannsiders in front after only 35 seconds, before Roy fired in from distance on 11 minutes.

But once again McLaughlin showed his predatory skills by firing home from close range just before the hour mark.

The only blot on the Coleraine copy book was the late dismissal of skipper Howard Beverland for a second yellow card.

Oran Kearney was delighetd with his team’s performance at the end.

“I’m ecstatic. It was a weird game today and both teams played well in spells but thankfully in ours we got our goals,” he told Times Sport after the game.

“In this league it’s not about the performance its about the result and in the last two weeks in particular we’ve ground out a good six points.”

The Bannsiders have been ruthless against the teams below them this season.

Kearney’s men have opened up a nine point gap over Glentoran in seventh place.

The Bannsiders boss was delighetd with the character and mentality shown by his side as they recorded their seventh win of the season at Carrick.

“Carrick is as tough a place as we’ll come and they play the pitch really well and there’s a great wee atmosphere but it takes a certain mentality to come here and get the points,” he said.

“We are delighted to get over the line.

“Ideally I wouldn’t have wanted it as squeaky-bum as it was in the last few minutes but we got the result.

“Sometimes an early goal can be the worst start because all of a sudden players down tools for 20 or 25 minutes and I’ve seen it before.

“But to be fair to our lads, they kept going and everything was looking really well until a bit of quality from Carrick changed things. It was a great strike from Ben Roy.

“We kicked on after that and we were disappointed not to be in ahead at half-time.”

James McLaughlin’s second half strike was his eighth of a very productive season to date.

The big man showed great predatory instincts to fire in from 12 yards after Rodney Brown’s initial header from Adam Mullan’s cross had been parried by Brian Neeson.

Kearney heaped praise on the front man’s goals and performances.

“McLaughlin’s goals have been massively important for us,” he said.

“That’s what James does. In the one chance he got today he used quite a bit of disguise to show one way and sweep the ball the other. It shows the class of a really good finisher.”

The result means Gary Haveron’s Rangers are still searching for their first home win in the league since gaining promotion.

“There wasn’t a lot between the two teams but we were architects of our own downfall – nobody is doing a lot to earn goals against us,” he said.

“Poor defending has cost us the game today.

“There’s no excuses and there’s nobody hiding and we all have to stand up and be counted, me included. We’ve got to try and put it right next week.”

Carrick Rangers: Neeson, Smyth (Doyle 54), Surgenor, Kelly, Traynor, McCaul, Cherry, McNeill (Chines 62), McCloskey, Browne, Roy (Miskimmin 73). Subs not used: Kane, Johnston.

Coleraine: Doherty, Beverland, Mullan, Douglas, McCauley (McGonigle 74), McCafferty, Harkin, Brown, McLaughlin (Morrow 73), Lyons, Watt. Subs not used: Falconer, Law, Finlay.