It has been quite a week for Coleraine’s teenage striker Jamie McGonigle as he continues to make a name for himself in the Irish league.
The front man grabbed the winner as the Bannsiders saw off Ballinamallard United for the first time last Friday night.
And he followed that up with a brace in Saturday’s comprehensive 3-0 win over Dungannon Swifts.
McGonigle showed his predatory prowess to move Oran Kearney’s men up to fourth in the table.
But the Bannsiders’ boss is determined to keep his young protege’s feet on the ground.
“He’s capable of starting next week and that’s where it stops for him,” said Kearney after the game.
“The last thing you want with younger lads, and thankfully I’ve a real good bunch, is for them to get ahead of themselves.
“He’ll not be allowed to, with some of the characters we have. The senior players in the team wouldn’t allow it to happen.
“Jamie has had a good day today. I’m sure there will be other days when he comes away having not had the best of games.
“It’s about that learning curve and taking the positives from today.”
McGonigle scored the second and third goals of a convincing Coleraine victory.
The Bannsiders were already leading through a Rodney Brown strike which found the net via a deflection off a defender.
McGonigle then made it 2-0 in the 20th minute, slotting home after Dungannon failed to deal with a searching pass from Brad Lyons.
He completed the scoring late on, bursting forward before scoring with an angled drive.
McGonigle had scored the previous Friday with a stoppage time winner against Ballinamallard.
Kearney added: “Jamie has come through our reserve side. In simple terms he knows where the goal is. He showed that today with his two finishes.
“He has a bit to learn out on the pitch and there are things we need to improve on and things he knows he has to work on.
“But there’s no doubt that when he gets in on goal that he’s a really good finisher.”
Kearney was delighted to see his side pick up another three points to make it three wins in a week.
“It’s been a really good week for us,” he said.
“The Ballinamallard result was massive, the midweek cup win was a professional performance, and today again was another big result.
“Credit to the lads the performance was well managed.
“At 2-0 we have been there before. It’s a nice lead, but it’s also an uncomfortable lead. You don’t want to push hard and leave the back door open for them.
“The third goal is always a nice one and it gives you a bit of a release, it was the icing on the cake.”
Next up in the League Cup is Championship One side H&W Welders. And Kearney will be hoping for another professional display.
“We started slowish against Ballyclare, but with every minute that passed we got stronger and stronger and we’re in the hat and that is all that matters,” he said.
“It was a very professional performance in the end by the lads.”