Cliftonville comeback to take the points against Coleraine

Cliftonville produced an excellent comeback to take all three points against Coleraine at Solitude.

Sunday, 7th April 2019, 1:05 pm
Updated Sunday, 7th April 2019, 1:07 pm
Aaron Harkin challenges Cormac Burke.

Paddy McLaughlin's men were 1-0 and 2-1 down in the first half but battled back to go in 3-2 up at the break.

A late Ryan Curran penalty in the second half sealed the points for the Reds.

There was a blistering start to the game as the visitors broke the deadlock on nine minutes, and what a goal it was.

Cormac Burke spread the play wide to Steven Douglas, who exchanged passes with Ian Parkhill before picking out Jamie McGonigle for a tap in.

Within four minutes the Reds were level as a swift break caught Coleraine cold, Ryan Curran released Rory Donnelly who finished well past Chris Johns.

Back came the Bannsiders and they restored their lead on 18 minutes as Parkhill fed McGonigle, but his shot was touched home by James McLaughlin.

The trio combined again on 32 minutes with McLaughlin firing narrowly wide of the target.

Joe Gormley uncharacteristically produced a poor finish when put clear by Aaron Harkin on 37 minutes. But he made amends seconds later as he teed up Ryan Curran for a close range finish.

And right on half time the hosts edged in front for the first time as Jamie Harney headed home Harkin's corner.

Cliftonville started the second half strongly. First Johns pulled off a superb save to stop a powerful drive from Donnelly on 48 minutes. Then Niall Grace headed over from close range a minute later.

The Bannsiders went close to equalising on 56 minutes as Parkhill found space on the edge of the box before drilling a shot off the base of the post.

The forward went close again three minutes later as Coleraine caught Cliftonville on the break, this time though he shot wide of the post.

Richard Brush was forced into a smart save at his near post from a McGonigle shot on 69 minutes.

Stephen O'Donnell should have done better from Ben Doherty's free kick on 73 minutes, but he could only direct his header wide of goal.

Coleraine were denied again with a minute to go as McGonigle found space in behind from Shiels' pass, but Brush did well to palm away his first-time effort.

Cliftonville wrapped up the points three minutes into stoppage time as Ryan Curran grabbed his second from the penalty spot after O'Donnell had fouled Maguire.