Eoin Bradley celebrates opening the scoring for Coleraine (©INPHO/Stephen Hamilton)
Saturday, 23 February 2019
Coleraine defeated Glentoran by two goals without reply in an at times remarkable encounter at The Showgrounds.
Scoreless at the break, both sides did have their chances in a fairly even first 45 minutes.
Glentoran enjoyed the better of the early exchanges when Curtis Allen ran onto a John Herron ball from the right to attempt a curling effort towards the bottom corner only for the ball to drift wide.
Chris Gallagher then had a go from 25 yards but this was straight into the hands of Coleraine keeper Chris Johns while, at the other end, Dean Shiels looked on as a left-foot shot trickled just wide of an upright.
The visitors might have found a fortuitous way through just before the half-hour mark when Marcus Kane's cross drifted towards goal but Johns was alert to flick the ball over.
And Johns was called into action again when Allen showed a nice turn of foot to create space inside the area only for his close range effort to be instinctively saved.
The Bannsiders were presented with an opportunity to open the scoring on 51 minutes. A Dean Shiels effort was flicked towards goal by Jamie McGonigle only to be handled by Calum Birney. The Glentoran man was sent-off while Coleraine were awarded a penalty but McGonigle could only send the ball over the bar.
Then, on the hour, Glentoran keeper Dwayne Nelson brought down Jamie Glackin. Another penalty. The spot-kick duties were assumed by Shiels on this occasion but his effort went even higher over the target.
Somewhat unbelievably Rodney McAree's side were awarded a third penalty on 67 minutes after Eoin Bradley had been upended by Gavin Peers ... only this time Bradley himself stepped up and made no mistake with a rifled finish past Nelson.
Indeed, Bradley might have extended Coleraine's lead soon after when he flicked a Ben Doherty cross just wide.
But Coleraine did score a second in the closing minutes when Doherty pounced on the rebound from a saved James McLaughlin effort to turn the ball past Nelson to secure the points.
Coleraine: Johns, O’Donnell, Lowry, McConaghie, Burns, McGonigle, Doherty, Canning, Edgar, Glackin, Shiels subs Doherty, Mullan, McLaughlin, Bradley, Parkhill, Burke, King
Glentoran: Nelson, Kane, Peers, Birney, Gallagher, Herron, Allen, McDaid, Kerr, Pepper, Gwiazda subs Garrett, McMahon, Henderson, Gordon, McCarthy, McLaughlin
Referee: Keith Kennedy