Oran Kearney was ‘absolutely delighted’ that his side opened their 2015/16 Danske Bank Premiership campaign with a hard fought 1-0 victory against Glentoran.
In a first-half that lacked any creativity, it was substitute James McLaughlin who struck 8 minutes from time to give the Bannsiders all three points, much to the Coleraine manager’s satisfaction.
“I am absolutely delighted to get a win on the opening day of the season. We knew that the Glens coming here today would be a tough game for us.
“The anxiety leading up to the game this week was massive and we just wanted to get off to a good start. It was important to earn three points and get the season rolling,” Kearney told Times Sport.
“Last season it took us our third or fourth game before we got our first victory and it sometimes brings a bit more tension along the line. Therefore, it’s nice to get that first win out of the way and get the season up and running.
Kearney heaped praise on goalscorer McLaughlin following his debut goal and believes the striker deserves credit for his hard work in pre-season.
“It is brilliant for James and I suppose he deserved that fairytale ending. He has been banging in goals for fun in the lower leagues and had a good past and pedigree in the local game that had fallen by the away side.
“He has easily lost a stone and a half and has been working hard for the past 12 weeks to get where he is at today,” Kearney added.
“Goalscorers are hard to find in this league that’s why we wanted to put the hard work into James. I’m delighted for him and he’s had a tough 12 weeks of training, but I hope the goal has given him a huge boost of confidence.”
Kearney’s counterpart Eddie Patterson believes his side got ‘exactly what they deserved’ following a lacklustre display at Ballycastle Road.
“Take Elliot’s mistake out of the game that gave Coleraine their goal, we didn’t enough before or after that to get something out of the game and we got exactly what we deserved.
Patterson was dismayed that his side weren’t awarded two penalties as Allen went under a challenge in the box and suspicions of a Coleraine player handling in the area.
“At the end of the day, I’m not going to go on two decisions the referee failed to give. We got what we deserved and we failed to turn up. Without doubt, Coleraine deserved it more than what Glentoran did today.”