Captain hoping to be fit for Blues test

Celebration time for Coleraine after they picked up all three points at Ballinmallard.  Picture by  Presseye / John McVitty
Celebration time for Coleraine after they picked up all three points at Ballinmallard. Picture by Presseye / John McVitty

Howard Beverland is hoping to be fit in time for Saturday big game at Linfield.

The Coleraine captain needed six stitches in a head wound sustained during Friday night’s 2-1 win over Ballinamallard United.

It looked like being a tough night for the Bannsiders at Ferney Park as they lost Ruairi Harkin to illness before the game, then James McLaughlin pulled up with a hamstring tweak in the warm up.

Ian Parkhill put them in front though before Beverland had to go off just before the break.

Adam Lecky headed the hosts level before the hour mark, but Rodney Brown popped up with six minutes to go give give Oran Kearney’s men their first ever league win in Fermanagh and move them up to second place.

With Cliftonville’s game at Carrick falling foul of the weather and Linfield losing at Portadown the Bannsiders remain in second going into Saturday’s clash at the national stadium.

Beverland is hopeful of playing his part in what is a massive game.

“I’m hoping to be available,” he said after Friday night’s win.

“I might have to don a Terry Butcher type headband, but I want to play as it’s another massive game for us.

“I’d like to thank everyone who has been in contact with me to wish me well since the injury, and a special thanks to medical staff and club doctor at Ballinamallard.

“I’m delighted the boys secured the three points. Now on to Windsor!”

Coleraine currently sit six points clear of the Blues, who lost their fourth game in a row at Shamrock Park.

Boss Oran Kearney is delighted to see his side riding high in the table after they completed the month with a 100% record.

“We’re up to second now, which is very pleasing as we are within touching distance of Crusaders at the top,” he said after the game at Ballinamallard.

“At this point in time everything’s going well, but we have a big month ahead for us.

“We expended a lot of energy tonight and we have a couple of injuries to contend with.

“We’ll dust ourselves down over the weekend and focus on the Linfield game next week.

“It’s nice to be coming away from here for the first time with three points this season.

“I’ve said it to the players in there it’s credit to them, because where we found the strength of character, or the strength of will, or energy, whatever you want to call it, wherever we got it from we found it somewhere.

“I thought we just kicked on again in the last 20-25 minutes and hit another gear and created another couple of chances before Rodney scored.”