Darren McCauley (52)
Darren McCauley (72)

2

Darren McCauley rushes to celebrate with Coleraine fans (Picture: Jonathan Porter/PressEye.com)

BANNSIDERS TAKE HUGE STRIDE TOWARDS EUROPE

Coleraine took a huge step towards securing a place in the Europa League with this two-goal defeat of Cliftonville at The Showgrounds.

The Reds came closest to breaking the deadlock during the early exchanges when, on 26 minutes, Kym Nelson rattled the crossbar with a free-kick from the edge of the area.

Apart from that Chris Curran saw an effort saved by Chris Johns while Adam Mullan failed to tuck away a promising opening at the back post. David Kee also had a chance but could only fire straight at the 'keeper.

Coleraine's best chance of the first half perhaps came on 40 minutes when Eoin Bradley had a shot on goal only to see it well tipped around the post by 'keeper Jason Mooney.

The Bannsiders broke the deadlock on 52 minutes through Darren McCauley after he fired the ball past Mooney when a Ciaron Harkin ball into the box wasn't cleared.

And McCauley doubled Coleraine's lead with just over a quarter-of-an-hour remaining with a confident finish after Mullan had delivered the through ball.

Oran Kearney's side looked to extend their lead with both Harkin seeing an effort tipped wide before James McLaughlin sent the ball just the wrong side of an upright.

Coleraine: Johns, Kane, Mullan, Harkin, Douglas, Ogilby, McCauley, McLaughlin, Kee, McGonigle, Bradley subs McCafferty (not used), McConaghie (not used), Edgar (not used), Doherty (not used), Allan (replaced Bradley 82)

Cliftonville: Mooney, McGovern, McGuinness, Curran, Garrett, Winchester, J. Donnelly, Cosgrove, Finnegan, Nelson, Haire subs Burke (not used), Bonner (not used), M. Donnelly (not used), Lavery (replaced Winchester 61), Reynolds (replaced Haire 72)

Referee: Steven Taylor

Attendance: 1134

Tags:  Cliftonville  Coleraine