Eoin Bradley (27)
Darren McCauley (57)

2

Eoin Bradley roars his delight after opening the scoring (©INPHO/Declan Roughan)

BANNSIDERS GRAB VITAL POINTS IN DERBY DAY VICTORY

Coleraine moved to within touching distance of the top of the table with this ultimately comfortable away day derby defeat of Ballymena United.

The Sky Blues might have edged in front around the 20 minute mark when Steven McCullough knocked the ball forward for Matthew Shevlin who, in turn, found Conor McCloskey but his strong effort from just outside the area was superbly tipped over by Chris Johns.

However, the visitors broke deadlock on 27 minutes after Jamie McGonigle cut the ball back from touch for it to fall for Eoin Bradley to knock past Ross Glendinning from close range.

Then, not long after that, Darren McCauley cut inside on the edge of the area to unleash a powerful effort against the crossbar as Coleraine looked to extend their lead.

But McCauley wasn't to be denied just before the hour after being given time on the edge of the area to fire home Coleraine's second.

Kyle Owens might have pulled a goal back from close range only for his touch to be punched off the line by Johns while, at the other end, Bradley almost doubled his tally only to fire wide whilst one-on-one with Glendinning.

BBC Sport NI coverage

Ballymena United: Glendinning, Kane, Owens, McKinney, McCloskey, Burns, Shevlin, Ervin, McCullough, Millar, Quigley subs Faulkner (replaced McKinney 87), Weir (replaced Burns 46), McDermott (not used), McCaffrey (replaced Quigley 86), Balmer (not used)

Coleraine: Johns, Kane, Harkin, McCauley, Bradley, Carson, McConaghie, Lyons, O'Donnell, Traynor, McGonigle subs Mullan (not used), Douglas (not used), Smith (not used), Burns (replaced McGonigle 67), Parkhill (replaced Bradley 79)

Referee: Evan Boyce

Attendance: 1661

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Tags:  Ballymena United  Coleraine