Josh Carson celebrates scoring Coleraine's third goal (©INPHO/Stephen Hamilton)
Friday, 23 March 2018
Josh Carson hit two second half goals to fire Coleraine back to the top of the Danske Bank Premiership with victory over Carrick Rangers at The Showgrounds.
But the Bannsiders were almost playing catch-up after quarter-of-an-hour when Daniel Larmour seized possession only to turn the ball against an upright.
Coleraine squandered an opportunity to go in front after 30 minutes. Damien McNulty conceded a spot-kick for a challenge of Eoin Bradley but Aaron Burns could only look on as Harry Doherty dived low to his left to keep out the penalty.
Carrick moved in front on 37 minutes through former Coleraine striker Darren Henderson who prodded home following a mix-up in the home defence.
Stung into a response, Carson almost levelled soon after with a volley while Burns had an effort cleared off the line.
Oran Kearney's side did level just after the break with Carson firing past Doherty from Brad Lyons' cut back.
Then, on 58 minutes, it was 2-1 to Coleraine with Lyons again providing the ball for Burns to atone for his penalty miss with a fantastic finish.
And, with seven minutes to go, Carson added a third with a first time left-foot half-volley after collecting the ball from Aaron Traynor.
However, Carrick hit back within moments to set up a gripping finale when substitute Michael Smith curled the ball into the top corner ... but it wasn't enough to deny the points for Coleraine.
Coleraine: Johns, Kane, Parkhill, Smith, Bradley, Carson, Burns, McConaghie, Lyons, O'Donnell, Traynor subs Mullan (not used), Douglas (not used), McCauley (replaced Parkhill 55), Doherty (not used), Dooley (replaced Burns 72)
Carrick Rangers: Doherty, Smyth, Surgenor, Chapman, J. Smith, McAllister. Scannell, Larmour, Hassin, Henderson, McNulty subs Gage (not used), Morrow (replaced McNulty 78), M. Smith (replaced Scannell 61), Mooney (replaced Smyth 88), Fogarty (not used)
Referee: Ross Dunlop
|Michael Smith||90 +4||61||84|