COLERAINE Colts were held to a scoreless draw as the young Stripes sought to clinch the Youth League Section B title at neighbours Limavady.
Coleraine Colts manager Ollie Mullan was back at his old stomping ground knowing that a win would see his new team win the league title. However his young side was unable to breach a resilient Limavady defence despite having much more of the possession. This was a dull game of few chances as Limavady were happy to sit back and play for the draw which will have frustrated the Coleraine side. The Colts remain clear at the top of the league and are champions elect with goal difference being the only thing in their way of the crown.
Coleraine played the game in their usual style, taking control of the ball and passing it around nicely. However much against the run of play it was Coleraine goalkeeper Finley who was forced to make the first real save of the game when he got down well to deny the Limavady striker.
The Colts’ first chance fell to David Healy. Caolan Fullerton did well down the left flank crossing it to the striker, however he was unable to apply the finish and sent the ball wide. Coleraine did begin to turn the screw and a long ball from Rutherford was taken down well by Healy and he in turn slipped it to strike partner Meenan, but his shot was straight at the goalkeeper.
Next it was Meenan’s turn to feed Healy, but again the strike went straight at the onrushing Limavady goalkeeper. With the first half finishing at 0-0 and Limavady sitting back the frustration was growing.
At the beginning of the second half it did seem like Coleraine had finally got the goal they craved. Scott McCann did well to slip Meenan through, he slid it past the goalkeeper but there was a defender back covering and Limavady were able to clear.
The young Bannsiders were keeping the ball well without being able to create too many clear cut opportunities. When Limavady did come forward the Coleraine defence handled them easily with Dillon Rutherford and Brad Surgeoner covering well on the few occasions that the Colts looked stretched.
Coleraine did have one great opportunity to take the lead with 20 minutes to go. Craig Moore did well down the left before teeing up Meenan, his shot was well saved and the rebound landed to Conor McNamee but his shot went agonisingly into the side netting.
Although they did keep pushing there were no other chances of note. This was a game Coleraine wanted to win, but a draw does mean they are standing on the finishing line for the league title.
A draw in their next game against Crewe United or if Ballymena fail to win all their remaining games would see the Colts crowned champions which is a great achievement for a side who finished in the bottom half of the league last season.