Under-16s see off Cookstown Youths in National League encounter

Under-13 National League action between Coleraine FC Academy and St Oliver Plunkett Youths. (s)
Under-13 National League action between Coleraine FC Academy and St Oliver Plunkett Youths. (s)
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Coleraine FC Academy Under 16’s returned to winning ways at The Warren in Portstewart with a 3-2 victory over Cookstown Youth.

The boys in blue and white were looking to bounce back from last week’s exit in the NIBFA Cup with three points in the league against mid-ulster outfit Cookstown Youth.

Coleraine started the day the better of the teams with Tyler Golligher and Peter Rankin having a share of the early chances.

Rankin found his goal-scoring touch again with a well finished shot in the twentieth minute.

Stewart Holmes got himself on the goal sheet as well with a Mario Ballotelli-esque goal and celebration to match when his calmly placed shot went past the keeper into the bottom corner.

Ciaran Hall continued his fine form of goal-keeping from last week with a string of confident saves and marshalling the Coleraine defence of Jordan Pollock and Rueben Sweeney at every opportunity.

Cookstown who found the first half very difficult were able to pull one goal back before the break with a long range shot which pipped Hall to the post and into the back of the net.

In the early stages of the second half Rhys Blair sent in a long cross to threaten the Cookstwon goal mouth only for a mix up in communication between Rankin and Doherty at the back post seen the ball go just wide of the post.

Cookstown began to find some momentum in their play as Coleraine lost their control on the play which was ever strong in the first half, the visitors were rewarded for their chances with a headed goal past Bailey Smith in the Coleraine goal.

However only minutes later, Rankin and Goldie began to threaten again as Cookstown found themselves under pressure from several well worked attacking opportunities.

Tyler Golligher drilled in a perfect corner kick for Goldie to meet in the air as he powered his header goal-wards leaving the Cookstown defence and goal keeper in a state of shock, give the Golden-man an inch and he will take a mile, a rising star in the Coleraine FC Academy set up.

Coleraine were able to see the game through with a solid performance from Josh McKendry in the blue and white stripes who demonstrated the never give up attitude and winning mentality that defines this young Coleraine squad this season.

Man of the Match: Josh McKendry.

The Under-13s lost out in a seven-goal thriller to Bertie Peacock Youths.