Three points the most important for Oran Kearney

“They can’t all be classics” was Oran Kearney’s honest assessment after his Coleraine side picked up all three points against Portadown on Saturday.

Monday, 1st November 2021, 8:00 am

An own goal from Paul Finnegan and a late strike from Matthew Shevlin sealed a sixth victory of the season for the Bannsiders.

And while it may not have had the excitement levels of some games Kearney was only interested in the win.

“They can’t all be classics, but we are more than happy,” said the Bannsiders boss.

Coleraine boss Oran Kearney. Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Presseye/Stephen Hamilton

“I’ll be the first to say it wasn’t free flowing and it maybe wasn’t at the levels of previous weeks and everything else.

“I think with that you’ve got to give Portadown credit as well as they came here and were very solid and hard to break down.

“However, more importantly, we’ve got another clean sheet, two goals and we are delighted with the three points.

“The players were a bit frustrated at half-time.

“Probably up until we scored the goal we looked dangerous, we had four or five really good attacks where with a bit more care we could have got our opening goal.

“I felt from the moment we got our goal we eased off the pedal a wee bit and stopped doing what we were doing well.

“From that, we lost our way a little bit.

“The second half became similar.

“There were phases at times, wee half chances and opportunities, but it wasn’t free-flowing.

“We said it at half time and we said it at the end as well that football’s not a sport where you get utopia every week and you probably rarely get it.

“Today was one of those days where if it had the hallmarks of one of those itty-bitty days you do the basics well, you give your keeper as little to do as possible and what chances you do have you put away.

“I think that would probably best sum up our performance.”

Kearney was pleased to see his side stand up to the physical test from their opponents.

“Portadown are a big side and particularly from set pieces.

“There were a few long throws and corners and everything else.

“Everybody stepped up to the mark which is really important.”

To their credit the visitors kept pushing for an equaliser with the Bannsiders finally making sure of the points in stoppage time.

A quick counter attack saw Conor McKendry tee up Matthew Shevlin for his eleventh of the season.

Kearney was delighted to see his front men combine to score, although he admitted it would have been nicer if it had come slightly earlier!

“Yeah if it had come 20 minutes earlier, we could have relaxed a bit,” he said.

“It was brilliant play from Conor – a great run and very unselfish to put it across.

“It was very similar to the one Matthew missed last week for his hat-trick.

“He laced it last week so it was good to see him today open his foot up and punch it into the goal.”