Bannsiders edge out resilient Ards

Clear penalty shout for Coleraine as Gary Browne is pushed tothe ground but nothing was given. Picture by Derek Simpson
Clear penalty shout for Coleraine as Gary Browne is pushed tothe ground but nothing was given. Picture by Derek Simpson

COLERAINE picked up their third win of the season as second half goals from Ruairi Harkin and Shane Jennings were enough to seal a 2-1 win over Ards at The Showgrounds.

The hosts were first to carve out an opportunity with only two minutes on the clock. Aaron Canning, filling in at centre-half, picked up Paul Owens corner at the back post, he cut inside and unleashed a fierce drive, which Graham McKibbin did well to get down to and hold.

The visitors responded as Scott Davidson sent William Faulkner through on goal, Wayne Drummond was out quickly though and the midfielder’s lob sailed wide of the target. Ards almost caught the Bannsiders out again on 17 minutes as Henderson played a clever pass in to Faulkner’s path, but again his lob was off target as Ogilby got back to deflect it away.

Andy Hunter was next to try his luck as his piledriver of a free kick from 25 yards had Drummond at full stretch as it just ended up on the wrong side of the upright on the half hour.

Coleraine were struggling to find any rhythm but just before half time Gary Browne drew a good save out of McKibbin.

Faulkner was first to threaten again just after the restart as his curling effort found the roof of the net on 52 minutes.

And straight away Coleraine broke up the pitch and won a penalty. Stevie Lowry latched on to Tommons knock down, but before he could get his shot away he was upended by Craig McMillen.

Ruairi Harkin stepped up and calmly fired home his second of the season.

The goal inspired Oran Kearney’s men as Browne went close with another effort soon after.

And they grabbed a second on 67 minutes after some neat football. Johnny Watt released Tommons by nutmegging McCullough, his deep corss was headed back for Browne for Jennings to volley home from close range.

Ards refused to lie down though and they pulled a goal back with 17 minutes to go as substitute Paul McDowell finished from close range after Drummond had spilled Ben Roy’s initial effort.

McDowell almost grabbed the equaliser on 82 minutes as he latched on to Driummond’s punch from Hunter’s long throw, thankfully for Coleraine though David Ogilby was there to head off the line.

Right on full time Faulkner brought a smart save out of Drummond at the near post from Mitchell’s cross.

Coleraine: Drummond, McIlmoyle, Ogilby, Owens, Lowry, Browne, Harkin, Canning, Watt, Jennings (Hegarty 75), Tommons (Carson 75).

Subs: E Bradley, J Bradley, McMullan.

Booked: Watt (90)

Goals: Harkin (54), Jennings (67)

Ards: McKibbin, Hall, Hunter, Gibson, McCullough, Smith (Cully 72), Faulkner, Henderson (McDowell, 64), McMillen, Davidson (Roy 64), Mitchell.

Subs: McClelland, Moffatt.

Goal: McDowell (73)

Booked: Smith (54)

Referee: Raymond Hetherington.