Kearney calls for a response as Bannsiders are hit for six

David Magowan gets back to block Mark Miskimmin's cross. '''photo:Derek Simpson
David Magowan gets back to block Mark Miskimmin's cross. '''photo:Derek Simpson

Coleraine manager has challenged his side for a response after they were hit for six by Crusaders at The Showgrounds on Tuesday night.

The Bannsiders were shell shocked by an impressive Crues outfit, who scored some sublime goals on their way to a 6-2 win.

Kearney was obviously disappointed by the result and the performance, but he told Times Sport he has challenged his players to bounce back when they travel to Glentoran this Saturday.

“We’re disappointed about tonight, but we draw a line under it,” said Kearney.

“Saturday is a fresh start and we have to rise to it.

“I’ve said to the lads this league is about mental strength and I’ll be asking for a response on Saturday.

“They have to wipe this out of their mind quickly.

“You have to give Crusaders credit. For the first 60 minutes of the game it was men against boys, they simply blew us out of the water.

“Some of the football they played and they goals they scored were was a tough night at the office for us.

“We had made good progress over the last four games, but it was a tough shift tonight.

“We have to learn from nights like tonight. We matched Portadown here on Friday night, it’s not that players go out not wanting to perform to that same level.

“Tonight we struggled and Crusaders caused us problems we weren’t able to solve.

There was only 11 minutes on the clock when Paul Heatley slotted past Michael Doherty after Owens had played him in with a clever pass.

The Crues doubled their advantage on 32 minutes as Owens and Heatley combined once again. The big man teed up the little livewire on the edge of the box and he produced a superb volley to leave Doherty rooted to the spot.

It was the 45th minute before the home side called Sean O’Neill into action and to be fair to the keeper he dealt with Gary Browne’s shot fairly easy.

The Crues made it 3-0 on 50 minutes and what a strike it was. The Bannsiders thought they had cleared Hanley’s corner, but it dropped to Gavin Whyte on the edge of the box and the teenager returned it with interest, volleying into the top corner.

Three minutes later it was 4-0 as Gary McCutcheon converted from the spot after Heatley had been sent sprawling in the box by Canning.

The Bannsiders pulled a goal back on 64 minutes as Ian Parkhill fired in from the edge of the box.

Coleraine’s joy was shortlived though as Crusaders restored their four-goal advantage seven minutes later. Colin Coates nodded the ball back into the danger area and Owens bundled home from close range.

Within two minutes the home side clawed another back as David Ogilby headed home.

A great double save from Doherty on 84 minutes denied the Crues a half dozen as he tipped Coates free on to the bar before reacting well to deny Robinson from the rebound.

They weren’t to be denied for though as Diarmuid O’Carroll controlled and volleyed home from the edge of the box with a minute left.