Belfast Telegraph

Coleraine's climb to safety gathers pace

By Keith Thomas

Coleraine 3 Warrenpoint Town 0: Coleraine are moving on up in their battle to beat relegation.

The resurgent Bannsiders moved ahead of Warrenpoint Town with a gritty performance on a heavy Showgrounds pitch.

Defender Aaron Canning pointed Coleraine in the direction of a first back-to-back league success of the season with a first half goal – only his fourth in 159 appearances.

Striker Eoin Bradley converted a second half penalty as Coleraine turned up the heat and striker Gary Browne came off the bench to complete the job.

Right-back Canning nipped in behind the hesitant Warrenpoint defence to guide a close range header home from Ruairi Harkin's free kick with 27 minutes gone.

Coleraine's lively start to the second period was key to nailing down a result.

The second goal came when David McDaid was chopped down in the box by Mark Hughes and Bradley stepped up to confidently smash in the resulting spot kick for his 10th goal of the season.

Coleraine put the result beyond doubt after 73 minutes.

Debutant Joe McNeill charged down the left and crossed for sub Browne to expertly angle the ball into the net.

Harkin then missed an 88th minute Coleraine penalty.

Coleraine: Ferry, Canning, Beverland, Douglas, McIlmoyle, Tommons, Hegarty, McNeill (Owen 87), Harkin, E Bradley (Browne 62), McDaid. Subs: Ogilby, Watt, J Bradley.

Warrenpoint Town: Parr, King, Cowan (Devlin 46), D Hughes, S Hughes, McCabe, Smith (Freeman, 46, in turn replaced by Kearns, 69), Bagnell, M Hughes, Moan, Boyle. Subs: Havern, Mulgrew.

Referee: Mervyn Smyth (Belfast).

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