Second half performance proves costly for Coleraine

Michael Hegarty is sent off following his challenge on Jordan Stewart. Photo Lorcan Doherty /
Michael Hegarty is sent off following his challenge on Jordan Stewart. Photo Lorcan Doherty /

COLERAINE were left to count the cost of a poor start to the second half as Glentoran picked up their first league win at The Showgrounds since March 2010.

Leading 1-0 going into half time after Kevin Bradley put through his own goal the Bannsiders looked to be in the driving seat, but within two minutes after the restart they remarkably founf themselves 2-1 down after quick fire goals from Jim O’Hanlon and Mark Miskimmin.

Michael Hegarty was dismissed midway through the second half before John McGuigan added a late third to complete a miserable day for Oran Kearney’s men.

It was a fairly forgettable opening 10 minutes as both sides were cancelling each other out.

It was the Bannsiders though who spurned the game’s first real opportunity with 12 minutes gone. They broke free from a Glentoran corner and remarkably found themselves with four on one, but two poor passes saw the opening wasted.

Elliott Morris was called in to action six minutes later as he reacted well to save Stephen Lowry’s close range shot.

The Glens responded immediately with Marcus Kane directing a header on target from Jason Hill’s cross.

Eoin Bradley did well for the hosts 10 minutes before the break as he weaved his way down the right-hand side before crossing for his strike partner Gray Browne, unfortunately though he couldn’t get enough power on his header.

Coleraine got their noses in front a minute before the break through a piece of good fortune. Gareth Tommons broke free down the right and his cross was diverted in to his own net by the unfortunate Kevin Bradley, who was a late call up to the starting 11 after Johnny Addis was injured in the warm up.

Their good work was undone two minutes after the restart as Coleraine remarkably found themselves 2-1 down. First Jim O’Hanlon picked up Kane’s flick on from O’Neill’s cross and coolly slotted home.

Thirty seconds later it was 2-1 to the visitors as Miskimmin raced on to a through ball, his initial effort was blocked by Wayne Drummond, but the striker reacted the quickest to fire in to the empty net.

Coleraine almost drew themselves level on 51 minutes but Beverland’s powerful header was tipped over by Morris.

The keeper denied the Bannsiders again four minutes later as Browne released Bradley with a clever pass, but Morris stood up well to deny him.

Coleraine’s task was made even tougher as Michael Hegarty was shown a red card for a tackle on Jordan Stewart on 64 minutes. They were still creating chances though. Beverland teed up his defensive partner David Ogilby on 67 minutes, but his header crashed off the bar.

As the game entered the closing stages O’Hanlon was denied a second by a smart save from Drummond. At the other end Morris did well to palm away an effort from Bradley.

The points were wrapped up right on the final whistle as Stewart broke clear again, his effort was blocked, but John McGuigan slotted home the rebound.