kearney relieved as Bannsiders see off resilient Ards

Gary Browne on target.
Gary Browne on target.

IT may not have been a vintage performance, but for Oran Kearney picking up the three points following Coleraine’s 2-1 win over Ards was all-important.

Wins hard been hard to come by for the Bannsiders so far this season. Saturday’s 2-1 win over Ards was only their third of the season.

A penalty from Ruairi Harkin and a close range strike from Shane Jennings put the Bannsiders in control in the second half before Paul McDowell set up a tense finish pulling a goal back to deny the hosts that elusive clean sheet.

For Kearney though picking up the three points was all important.

“The objective at the start of the day was to get the three points and we are delighted we’ve been able to do that,” Kearney told Times Sport after the game.

“There’s not many clean sheets in this league and there’s lots made about it. But I make no bones about it I’m in the business to get three points.

“I’ve learned in the past that goal difference doesn’t really do me any good. Of course ideally it would be great to be getting clean sheets, but with the little period we’ve been through lately you can’t have it all, but my main concern is getting three points and thankfully we got that today.”

With only seven points separating the top nine teams in the table Kearney knows full well just how competitiive the league is and was quick to point out no team should be underestimated.

“All managers and players know the league we are in this year and just how ferocious and tough it is,” he said.

“We had a tough game last week and today was no different, and Warrenpoint a fortnight ago was just the same.

“I don’t care what anyone says mindset-wise or the expectation that we should do this or that to Ards, they are in this division on merit and they have plenty of good players, and they showed that today in phases.

“We don’t disrespect and club that we play against, we’ve had Ards well watched and we knew exactly what we were going in to.”

Ards were upset at the award of a penalty which led to Coleraine’s opener, Kearney though fely Stevie Lowry was taken out as he went to strike the ball.

“Generally it’s what you see when you are making your mind up if it’s a penalty or not, but I think our penalty today was more about the sound,” said Kearney.

“There was a clear sound as Stevie went to styrike the ball, their player has interfered with his striking foot and that’s where the sound has come from and that’s why the ref has given the penalty.

“We’ve had one like that go against us this season so I have no issue to stand here and say I’ll take it.”

His opposite number, Niall Currie wasn’t in agreement.

“I thought the referee’s performance left a lot to be desired and I thought the penalty was a joke,” he said.

“When there’s an incident in the game you go by people’s reactions and the reaction by Coleraine when the penalty was awarded was ‘brilliant we’ll take that’.

“It wasn’t a penalty it was a block. It changed the game.

“I’m very proud of the players though. Their enthusiasm, desire and hunger matched everything Coleraine had to offer. That’s the way it has been for us in a lot of games, but unfortunately we get punished for any mistakes we make.”