Boyd to the ‘four’ in friendly

STRIKER Aaron Boyd hit the goal trail in last week’s friendly against neighbours Ballymoney United.

The front man hit four in the 5-0 win at the Riada Stadium against John Fall’s side.

The Bannsiders brought a side mixed of first team and reserve players managed by reserve manager, Jonny Law, and the were on top throughout.

The game started quietly, with both teams sharing possession, and both proving they were able to make use of the big pitch, and string passes together. Centre midfielder for the evening, Paul Owens, had the first chance with a shot on target which didn’t overly test the home goalkeeper, in the first five minutes.

Coleraine then had a shout for a penalty when trialist Conleth McCaughern’s cross looked as though it was cleared out with the arm of a Ballymoney defender, but referee, Willie McConaghie waved play on.

Coleraine took the lead after ten minutes when Ballymoney cleared their lines only as far as Lee Colligan on the left wing, whose perfect cross was met by a glancing header from Aaron Boyd after 10 minutes.

Ballymoney struggled to offer any threat as the half went on, while Coleraine were making use of the width on the pitch by getting wingers Joel Bradley and McCaughern into the game as much as possible, who both proved dangerous with their runs and crossing.

Coleraines next chance came after 16 minutes when centre half Stuart McMullan found himself down the left wing, his header was glanced over from Mark Gillan. Gillan had another chance to double the lead a couple of minutes later, when his shot was cleared off the line, only as far as Kyle McVey, whose weak header went straight into the keeper’s hands. Trialist McCaughern then gave the fans and Law something to think about, when his mazy run ended in a powerful left foot shot, which cannoned onto the bar with 20 minutes on the clock.

After lots of pressure from the Bannsiders, it finally paid off when the impressive Boyd doubled Coleraine’s lead on 22 minutes with his second of the evening. A finely struck shot from the corner of the box reaching the corner of the net.

Coleraine were then forced into a change as Joel Bradley made way for older brother Luke. Coleraine made it 3-0 when stand in right winger John Watt bombed down the line before putting in a low cross with pace, and left back Colligan had the simple task of tapping in.

Coleraine kept the pressure up right up until half time, but chances from Campbell, and two from Boyd came to nothing.

Into the second half and Ballymoney, having made two changes, came straight out of the blocks, and looked like a completely different side. They had their first chance when their substitute winger broke free down the right hand side, and his low cross was met first time by substitute Laverty, but his right footed shot was straight at Gregg Shannon.

Coleraine made another change Kearney replacing Luke Bradley after 50 minutes.

Coleraine’s first real chance of the half came after 57 minutes when Watt’s free kick from the right wing beat everyone, coming off the bar and out of play.

Ballymoney had another chance of their own at the hour mark, when a cutback from was met by a centre midfielder, whose well drilled shot fizzed past the post from 20 yards out.

The last half hour was all about Aaron Boyd. Having already notched two in the first half, his hat-trick goal was by far the highlight of the game. He received the ball deep towards the half way line, turned, and went on a run, beating two players and smashing an unstoppable shot into the top corner from at least 25 yards out with 63 minutes on the clock.

But he wasn’t finished there. Three minutes later, he made it 5-0 when he again used good strength and skill to beat two men and slotted a neat finish in off the post. Ballymoney had the last real chance of the game with 15 minutes left, a shot which was cleared off the line by the impressive Colligan following a corner.

Coleraine Line Up: Shannon, Watt, McVey, McMullan, Colligan, J.Bradley (L.Bradley, Kearney), Owens, Campbell, McCaughern (Trialist), Gillan, Boyd