Stephen Lowry celebrates doubling Coleraine's lead (©INPHO/Declan Roughan)
Tuesday, 01 January 2019
Coleraine swept to an ultimately comprehensive victory over Cliftonville at The Showgrounds to start the new year off in the best possible way.
The Bannsiders raced into a two-goal lead with a couple of goals in as many minutes midway through the first half.
Eoin Bradley opened the scoring on 20 minutes when he stuck his left leg out to turn the ball into the roof of the net after Jamie McGonigle had fired across the box following a run.
Then, sixty seconds later, Stephen Lowry made it 2-0 into the far corner after Ciaron Harkin had delivered the decisive ball.
Josh Carson might have added a third just after the half-hour mark with a dipping effort which Richard Brush did well to turn over.
Cliftonville started the second half brightly, almost pulling a goal back when Rory Donnelly's goalbound header was cleared off the line by Graham Crown.
Joe Gormley then sliced the ball wide before, on 69 minutes, he turned provider with a cross from the left for Liam Bagnall to find the net.
However, with just over a quarter-of-an-hour remaining, Aaron Canning added a third for Coleraine with a clinical finsh after the ball wasn't cleared from a corner.
Donnelly was thwarted by another goalline clearance on 80 minutes as Cliftonville looked to reduce the deficit again.
But, with a couple of minutes to go, substitute James McLaughlin knocked home Coleraine's fourth with his first touch after getting on the end of a long ball forward.
Coleraine: Johns, Mullan, Harkin, McCauley, Lowry, Bradley, Carson, Crown, McConaghie, McGonigle, Canning subs Doherty (not used), Douglas (replaced Crown 72), McLaughlin (replaced E. Bradley 87), O'Donnell (not used), Parkhill (replaced McCauley 87), Gawne (not used), Whiteside (not used)
Cliftonville: Brush, McGovern, Ives, Harney, C. Curran, R. Curran, R. Donnelly, Bagnall, Catney, Gormley, McNulty subs McKenna (not used), Breen (not used), McConnell (not used), Lavery (replaced Ives 79), Maguire (not used), McMenamin (replaced C. Curran 79), A. Donnelly (not used)
Referee: Tony Clarke
|Jamie McGonigle||90 +3|