IRISH LEAGUE: Kearney pleased as Coleraine march on

Coleraine became the first club to break the 50 point barrier this season following their 2-0 win at Ballinamallard United on Saturday.

Sunday, 17th December 2017, 3:27 pm
Brad Lyons celebrates his goal. INPHO/John McVitty

The Bannsiders also extended their advantage over Glenavon and Linfield, but boss Oran Kearney says he is only concerned with what his own side do.

"We keep saying to the boys every week all we can control is what we do every week," he said after the game.

"The big emphasis today was to pick up the three points and whatever happened anywhere else is out of our control.

"We know that if we keep winning games we will stay where we are at."

The Bannsiders would have won by an even bigger margin at Ferney Park if it wasn't for Richard Brush in the home goal.

He produced several vital saves to keep his side in the game after Ian Parkhill's deflected opener. Coleraine had to wait until the 84th minute to finally wrap up the points thanks to Brad Lyons.

"The manner of the game and the way it panned out it was one of those days you always wanted the second goal," said Kearney.

"We had a very good performance in the first half in particular. The only thing we could have complained about was perhaps our recklessness in front of goal.

"We had a lot of the play, we had a lot of chances, but we failed to convert them.

"Every team will have their moment in a game, and to be fair to Ballinamallard I though they start the first 15 minutes of the second half particularly well. They came out and made a real game of it.

"But we looked solid. We have had quite a few clean sheets this year, Chris Johns has been solid, so have the back four and the rest of the team. We are built and prepared to take the 1-0.

"But in the same stretch with the quality we have and the way we play we always wanted the second goal, and we got it with a very composed finish from Brad."

As for the Mallards they were left empty handed again but boss Gavin Dykes was pleased with the reaction from his players after a poor first half.

"I thought we did really well in the second half," he said.

"We had a couple of great chances, if we take one of those to make it 1-1 then we can press on. But we conceded the second with a few minutes to go and it was game over.

"They are good side and to be fair 'Brushy' kept us in it.

"We had a few strong words at half time and we got a reaction. I can't ask any more of the players, we battled really hard.

"We had a lot of things going on during the week - Ryan Curran has been in bed for two days, Conor McLaughlin and Shane McGinty aren't fit and we have two suspended, we are down to the bare bones.

"We done well to get eleven players out on the pitch. We have to move on we have a huge week coming up with three massive games."