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Bradley Injury takes sheen off Coleraine triumph

Coleraine 4 Portadown 2

By Keith Thomas

Coleraine striker Eoin Bradley has promised to return from his horror lung and rib injuries as soon as possible.

He was rushed to hospital on Saturday after colliding with a post early in the game against Portadown.

But Bradley, who returned from Glenavon for a second Showgrounds spell a fortnight ago, is looking at a potential 10-week lay-off which is a massive setback to Coleraine.

From his hospital bed Bradley, a hat-trick hero against Carrick Rangers in the Irish Cup the previous Saturday, thanked fans for their good wishes.

The Derry Gaelic star added: "That's football. A few days in hospital and I'll be back on the mend."

Boss Oran Kearney said: "He has been fantastic for us since he came back and all the players are relieved that he didn't suffer more serious injuries."

Bradley propelled himself forward to attack a close range chance to level the game after Coleraine had gone behind to Adam Foley's smart left foot strike less than a minute in.

His momentum took him into the upright and the match was delayed almost 18 minutes until medics were able to take him to hospital.

Brad Lyons levelled the scoreline three minutes after play resumed, crashing a drive past keeper Chris McGaughey. Nine minutes later he headed in Neil McCafferty's corner.

But Dubliner Alan Byrne levelled it when home keeper Chris Johns turned out Foley's connection on a Shea McGerrigan cross.

Substitute McCafferty restored Coleraine's lead, curling a 22-yard free kick past the Ports defensive wall and away from the keeper.

Winger Darren McCauley headed Ian Parkhill's cross home two minutes from time.

It was Coleraine's fourth victory after a run of six games without a win but Kearney admitted Portadown made things tough.

"They caused us problems and despite the position they find themselves in at the bottom of the league, they kept coming at us.

"I've seen teams come here and try and sit in for a draw but credit to them they played with two big strikers up top and had a real go at it."

Coleraine: Johns, Kane, Mullan, Douglas, Ogilby, McCauley, Harkin, Lyons, Parkhill, Bradley (McCafferty, 21 mins), Allan. Unused subs: Twigg, Kee, McConaghie, Doherty.

Portadown: McGaughey, Carson, O'Hara (Gardner, 45 mins), Lyttle, Byrne, Shannon, McGerrigan, Foley, Haire (Soares, 66 mins), Mulvenna (McAllister, 76 mins), Parker. Unused subs: C Larkin, Hughes.

Referee: Stephen Gregg (Ballyclare)

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