A win at the Showgrounds at long last

By Staff Reporter

On Saturday Stevie Small’s Wee Hoops continued their recent good run of form with a first ever win over Coleraine at the Showgrounds in the Carling Premiership. We went into the game with a growing list of absentees. Starting off at the back goalkeeper Robert Robinson failed a late fitness test, defender Paul Bradley was serving a one match suspension, in the middle of the park captain Stephen McAlorum was out with a long-term injury and Liam Bradley was serving the second of a two-game ban. So you could forgive some supporters for thinking that we did not stand a chance.

 

Handled

DC almost took the lead after just five minutes.

A Kevin Keegan cross was adjudged to have been handled by Howard Beverland but from the resulting spot-kick Paul McVeigh could only look on as his effort low to the right was kept out by goalkeeper Gavin Cullen.

Maxi McVeigh came close again on 25 minutes when his point-blank header was cleared off the line by Ruairi Harkin.

The Bannsiders responded with efforts from outside the area via John Watt and Curtis Allen but the first half remained scoreless.

Former Linfield striker Allen came close again just before the hour mark with a free-kick that hit the outside of the post.

 

Harmless

But the Wee Hoops grabbed what proved to be the winner on 70 minutes when goalkeeper Gavin Cullen fumbled what appeared to be a harmless Eamon McAllister cross allowing Darren Murray to pounce on the loose ball from two yards.

Coleraine pushed hard for the equaliser late in the game with David Scullion coming closest only to see the ball cleared off the line.

Stevie Small and Laurence Stitt are slowly but surely winning the supporters over, especially after this result. That’s four points from a possible six in the league and they have also guided us into the quarter-final stages of the Irish Cup.

This Friday we are away to bottom of the table Carrick Rangers in the Carling Premiership, kick-off 7.45pm at Seaview.

 

Emotional

It will be an emotional return to Seaview for Small and Stitt who guided  Rangers to a league and cup double last season.

We should be more or less back to full strength this week apart from captain Stephen McAlorum, who is out with a long-term injury. We ran out 2-1 winners in this fixture earlier in the season so should be confident of a repeat performance.

On Tuesday night we play our rescheduled League game against Glentoran at home, kick-off 7.45pm.

 

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