Belfast Telegraph

Coleraine 2 Ballymena United 2: Bannsiders' Allan targets a starting spot after rescuing point

By Keith Thomas

Has Jordan Allan done enough to merit a starting role for Coleraine?

That's the question the striker has posed boss Oran Kearney after coming off the bench again to rescue the Bannsiders.

His two-goal late show secured an unlikely point against Ballymena United in the Ballycastle Road derby and took his total to three in the last two games.

Allan also snatched Coleraine's equaliser against Glenavon last weekend. So surely he's making all the right moves to impress his new manager since arriving on loan from Derry City?

The former Dundee United frontman has risen to the challenge of resurrecting his career and is now desperate to land a starting role.

"I'm just happy to be scoring goals again," says the 20-year-old Scot. "I think I'm proving what I can bring to the team so maybe I'll get my chance."

But one thing which does perplex the newcomer is Coleraine's growing reputation as slow starters.

"We should be getting out of the blocks better," he said. "We must focus on scoring earlier in games and taking a bit of pressure off ourselves."

Kearney said:"We brought Jordan here because this is exactly what we knew he was capable of producing. It was a crazy ending to the game, but his finishes were super and helped us salvage something from nothing."

Kearney heaped praise on of his players for refusing to capitulate when all seemed lost.

"Our performance was not up to our usual standard but credit to the lads for remaining strong," he said.

United stay third in the table but lost ground on leaders Crusaders and Linfield in second.

Sky Blues boss David Jeffrey admitted the final two minutes were a surprise after Cathair Friel's double looked to have got his side over the line.

"We were hit by a couple of sucker punches after totally dominating the game," he said.

Friel broke the deadlock after 53 minutes when the home defence failed to deal with a free kick from Tony Kane who was making his 200th appearance.

Allan struck an upright before Ballymena doubled their advantage 11 minutes from time. Johnny McMurray put Friel in possession and he slotted in from the edge of the box.

But battling Coleraine replied on 89 minutes. Allan took advantage of hesitation by keeper Alan Blayney just inside the box, skipping past the stopper before cutting inside to slide the ball home.

Allan struck again in injury time, grabbing the equaliser from close range.

Coleraine: Johns, Mullan, Ogilby (Douglas, 53 mins), McCauley, McCafferty (Higgins, 67 mins), McLaughlin, Brown, Kee, McConaghie, Parkhill (Allan, 54 mins), McGonigle. Subs: Edgar, Morrow.

Ballymena: Blayney, T Kane, Owens, Thompson (McCloskey, 88 mins), Jenkins, Faulkner, Friel, Wallace, Ervin, McMurray, Loughran. Unused subs: Glendinning, Flynn, E. Kane, Millar.

Referee: Keith Kennedy (Lisburn)

Man of the match: Cathair Friel

Match rating: 7/10

Belfast Telegraph


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