Academy League U18


28 Sep 2022

Coleraine stormed to a memorable victory in an historic UEFA Youth League encounter with FK Pobeda on Wednesday evening at The Showgrounds.

Marking the first time a side from Northern Ireland has taken part in the tournament, the Bannsiders fought back from trailing at the break to take a slender advantage to North Macedonia for the return next week.

Marty Smith's side - who qualified after lifting the NIFL U18 Youth League title last season - raced into the lead as early as the fifth minute when Jack Patton found the bottom corner with a great strike.

It was a lead the Bannsiders held until they were hit by a double whammy in the closing minutes of the first half.

Filip Todorski levelled for Pobeda three minutes from the break when his free-kick ended up going past keeper Billy McDowell before, right on the whistle, Todorski doubled up following a quick counter attack.

To their credit Coleraine rallied in the second half, and levelled on 52 minutes after Andrew Stinson's shot trickled over the line.

Then, just before the hour, Reece Watton headed home what proved to be the winner after connecting with a superbly delivered Michael Stewart cross.

Coleraine: McDowell, Campbell, Watton, Stewart, Moffatt, Callaghan, Stinson, Doherty, Dealey, Cullen, Patton subs Donnelly (not used), Kelly (replaced Doherty 85), Curran (not used), Mackay (replaced Patton 82), Dennison (not used), Devine (not used), Smyth (replaced Cullen 70)

Pobeda: Marinovski, Gjorcheski, Shikov, Kofilovski, Pop Antoski, Jakopetrevski, Kochoski, Arizankoski, Debreslioski, Todoroski, Tosheski subs Shemkovski (not used), Varosanoski (replaced Jakopetrevski 85), Milanoski (not used), Petejcuk (not used), Krsteski (replaced Kofilovski 71), Nancheski (replaced Gjorcheski 56)