Allan Jenkins, United's two-goal hero, celebrates with his team-mates (Picture: Darren Kidd/PressEye.com)
Thursday, 26 December 2013
BALLYMENA United recorded their first win over Coleraine in 15 outings with this Boxing Day victory to send Oran Kearney's side into the play-off positions.
Coleraine created all the early openings with Stephen Carson being denied by Stuart Addis while both Gareth Tommons and Ruairi Harkin failed to connect with Eoin Bradley crosses.
Bradley then had an effort cleared off the line by Johnny Taylor as the Bannsiders looked increasingly likely to break the deadlock.
But they were made to rue these missed opportunities on 42 minutes when an Ally Teggart ball from the right evaded everyone in the box to find its way past Gregg Shannon and into the net.
Then, five minutes into stoppage time, United doubled their lead after David Cushley touched a long Gary Thompson pass into the path of skipper Allan Jenkins to finish emphatically.
Coleraine reduced the deficit on 68 minutes after another Bradley delivery was touched home by Tommons after the visiting defence failed to clear.
United restored their two-goal cushion three minutes after that with Jenkins second of the game, a close range finish from a Teggart corner.
However, back came Coleraine with Bradley getting the goal his endeavours deserved on 74 minutes after he darted past Taylor from a free-kick to beat Addis.
The Sky Blues weathered the Coleraine storm as the game wore to a close and might have added a fourth in stoppage time when substitute Neil Lowry hit the ball onto the top of the crossbar.
Coleraine: Shannon, Hegarty, McIlmoyle, Douglas, Ogilby, Harkin, Carson, Canning, E. Bradley, Watt, Tommons subs Moore (not used), Owens (not used), Stewart (replaced Watt 50), J. Bradley (not used), McMullan (not used)
Ballymena United: Addis, Kane, Munster, Taylor, Stewart, Thompson, Taggart, Surgenor, Cushley, Jenkins, Teggart subs Davidson (replaced Surgenor 81), Liggett (not used), Ruddy (replaced Teggart 88), Lowry (replaced Cushley 81), McLellan (not used)
|Johnny Taylor||45 +2|
|Allan Jenkins||45 +5,71|