Aaron Burns is mobbed by his Coleraine team-mates (©INPHO/Matt Mackey)
Saturday, 11 August 2018
Aaron Burns grabbed a last minute winner as Coleraine defeated Cliftonville in a gripping encounter at Solitude.
The game got off to an end to end start after an early Joe Gormley volley was saved by Chris Johns followed swiftly at the other end when Jamie McGonigle was denied by Richard Brush.
Chris Curran then got through the Coleraine defence to turn an effort onto the post with Jay Donnelly unable to tuck away the loose ball.
Coleraine then had a great chance when Josh Carson robbed Aaron Donnelly but just as he looked to find Eoin Bradley keeper Brush was on hand to snuff out the threat.
Graham Crown was then thwarted by a goalline Liam Bagnall clearance with Darren McCauley then sending a later effort narrowly past the post.
The chances continued into the second half. Ryan Curran delivered a corner to the back post for Chris Curran but Johns was on hand to make a crucial stop.
Conor McMenamin was next to have an opportunity, but his back post header from a great Bagnall delivery just missed the target.
Play switched back in favour of the Bannsiders but Burns was unable to take advantage of the rebound after a Jamie McGonigle shot was blocked by Levi Ives.
But, finally, the deadlock was broken on 72 minutes thanks to a rifled Burns finish after McCauley delivered a cross to the back post.
Cliftonville responded five minutes later, though, after Joe Gormley's free-kick took a deflection off Stephen Lowry to beat Johns.
Both sides pushed for what would have been an important victory but just as it appeared a draw would be the likely outcome up popped Burns in the 90th minute to turn Coleraine's winner into the top corner after Lowry turned on a McGonigle ball.
Cliftonville: Brush, McGovern, Ives, C. Curran, R. Curran, Bagnall, Catney, Gormley, J. Donnelly, McMenamin, A. Donnelly subs Neeson (not used), White (not used), McConnell (not used), Lavery (replaced R. Curran 82), Maguire (replaced McMenamin 69)
Coleraine: Johns, Mullan, Harkin, McCauley, Lowry, Bradley, Carson, Crown, McConaghie, Traynor, McGonigle subs Douglas (replaced McCauley 90+2), Lyons (replaced Harkin 65), Burns (replaced Bradley 65), Parkhill (not used), Doherty (not used)
Referee: Steven Taylor
|Darren McCauley||90 +2|
|Steven Douglas||90 +2|