Colm McLaughlin (OG) (50)
Joe McCready (54)

2

Matthew Smyth (71)

1

Joe McCready celebrates doubling Coleraine's lead (©INPHO/Matt Mackey)

BANNSIDERS STRETCH GAP TO EIGHT POINTS

Coleraine moved eight points clear at the top of the Danske Bank Premiership with victory over bottom of the table Ballinamallard United at The Showgrounds.

After a relatively quiet opening period both sides crafted their first efforts around the quarter-of-an-hour mark with Ballinamallard's Shane McGinty firing over after a long run while Jamie McGonigle turned a shot straight at 'keeper Richard Brush from Darren McCauley's cross.

As the game began to open up Josh Carson forced a good save from Brush with a low shot from outside the box while, on the stroke of half-time, Aaron Traynor just missed connecting with Ian Parkhill's cross at the back post.

Coleraine eventually found a way through five minutes after the break when Mallards defender Colm McLaughlin turned the ball into his own net whilst attempt to clear McGonigle's cross.

Then, four minutes after that, Joe McCready added a second for the Bannsiders with a clinical finish after Carson teed him up with a wonderful through ball.

Stephen O'Donnell might have extended Coleraine's advantage with two efforts either side of the hour but, on 71 minutes, the visitors pulled a goal back through a Matthew Smyth header.

However, the outcome was never really in doubt as McCready went close to adding a third not long after while McGonigle was denied late on.

Coleraine: Johns, Mullan, Harkin, Ogilby, McCauley, Carson, O'Donnell, Parkhill, Traynor, McGonigle, McCready subs Douglas (not used), Smith (replaced McCready 80), Kee (not used), McConaghie (replaced O'Donnell 72), Whiteside (replaced Parkhill 66)

Ballinamallard United: Brush, Smyth, Taheny, McLaughlin, Armstrong, Owens, Hutchinson, Clarke, McGinty, Curran, McIlwaine subs Martyn (replaced Armstrong 80), McKenna (replaced Taheny 66), Burns (replaced Hutchinson 32), McCann (not used), Brownlee (not used)

Referee: Jamie Robinson

Attendance: 893