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Coleraine 3 Crusaders 1

By Tom Roberts

Coleraine striker Curtis Allen believes the psychology of football could help the Bannsiders unlock the door to success this season.

Allen, who hit the fastest goal on the opening day of the Danske Bank Premiership season, reveals: “We are concentrating on positivity and belief in ourselves.”

Ahead of a trip to Windsor Park to face David Jeffrey's wounded Linfield next weekend, Allen insists Coleraine have nothing to prove against the defending champions who were humbled 2-0 at Ballymena United while the Bannsiders outclassed Crusaders.

“The pressure is all on Linfield after that shock,” said Allen, who spent two seasons with the Blues before joining Coleraine.

“We're sure that on our day we can earn a result against anyone.”

Allen's classy lob from 20 yards less than five minutes in left Crusaders goalkeeper Sean O'Neill in no man's land and paved the way for an impressive show from the bubbling Bannsiders.

Allen, scorer of 25 goals last season, says boss Oran Kearney's tactics were the key to outsmarting the all-Ireland champions.

“The manager worked out a game plan that we implemented rigidly and that's why we reaped the reward,” said Allen.

“We were very sharp and didn't give them time on the ball.”

Coleraine doubled their lead on 32 minutes; Paul Owens guiding the ball home from 12 yards after O'Neill turned out Michael Hegarty's long range attempt.

“You never want to sound complacent, but by half-time we pretty much knew we had the result in the bag if we continued to perform to the same high level in the second half,” said Allen.

Defender David Ogilby's free-kick on 53 minutes added the gloss to a polished performance.

David Rainey grabbed a late consolation goal for the visitors after full back Aaron Canning's error, but it was far too late to have any influence on the outcome of the game.

Ogilby said: “There was a freshness about our game which is excellent considering it was the opening day when players can still be struggling to get to grips with the pace of competitive football.

“Our sharpness is down to a great pre-season and now we have to maintain the momentum in our next game, which is against Linfield.

“You don't get too much time to celebrate a win in this game. The next match is always just around the corner.”

Belfast Telegraph


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