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Coleraine 1 Glentoran 0

By Tom Roberts

After finally ending a frustrating sequence of draws, Stephen Lowry says Coleraine's next challenge is tackling the problem of delivering goals.

In six of their last eight league games the Bannsiders have failed to score more than once while they couldn't find the target in defeat at Ballinamallard.

It's something we realise has to improve,” admits midfielder Lowry who believes the Bannsiders are back on track in their title challenge after Saturday’s single goal success against Glentoran.

“We have been creating excellent chances but it’s all about being more ruthless in front of goal.

“If we had been able to do that in some of our recent games we could easily have turned draws into wins and been sitting right up there in the table challenging leaders Cliftonville.”

On analysis, the Bannsiders' striking options have been limited with a heavy weight of responsibility falling on the shoulders of last season's top scorer Curtis Allen who is looking at a possible return to cross-channel football.

Indeed, Shane Jennings, another former Linfield striker, who was Saturday's goalscoring hero, has just recovered from a debili

tating summer shoulder injury.

The form of attacking winger Darren Boyce has been erratic while David Scullion only made a welcome return on Saturday after a nine-week lay-off with a knee injury.

Mark Gillan, signed from Ballymoney United during the summer, is still being eased into the senior game while Paul Owens is also hoping to stake his claim for a regular starting place.

“We usually score more goals from midfield,” admits Lowry who has managed five so far including vital contributions to secure a point at Distillery and a late winner in the 3-2 victory over champions Linfield last month.

But Lowry expects Coleraine to achieve their next goal even though they face a tough assignment against Glenavon this weekend.

“They always give us a good game and this is all about facing challenges and overcoming them.”

Coleraine only managed one win in three meetings with the Lurgan Blues last season and the Mourneview Park side have achieved just one victory in their last eight visits to the Showgrounds over a four-year period.

It was left to Jennings to plunder the only goal against Glentoran, the Ballycastle man's first goal of the season in only his second start.

Boss Oran Kearney said: “It's been a tough time for Shane but he has worked hard on his recovery and has been knocking at the door to start.

“He gives us a real presence in the final third and took his goal well.”

Jennings plundered the goal after eight minutes when his header came back off an upright.

Glentoran keeper Elliott Morris denied Allen and Ruairi Harkin in the first half and although the Glens gave the home side more problems in the second period, they failed to test Michael Doherty in the Coleraine goal.

Coleraine substitute David Scullion watched a shot blocked by Morris and then the Glens had a lucky let off after an error by skipper Colin Nixon left Allen with only Morris to beat but the Bannsiders' top scorer angled the ball wide of the post.

Glens striker Andy Waterworth was denied by the woodwork and, before the end, he then sent a shot over the bar when he managed to beat the Coleraine defence again.

Belfast Telegraph


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