Jamie McGonigle tips Coleraine starlets to keep sparkling
Glentoran 0 Coleraine 1
Jamie McGonigle believes the sky's the limit for this youthful Coleraine side.
The 20-year-old from Dungiven hit his team's winner against Glentoran at The Oval, but the victory was much more convincing than the scoreline suggests.
It took an extraordinary goalkeeping performance from Glentoran's Elliott Morris to limit the hungry Bannsiders.
"You can see we have pushed on over the last few years," said McGonigle. "We play without fear, that's what the boss drills into us. And we play a great brand of football.
"Even in training Oran (Kearney) tells us to have no fear on the ball. He says if we have fear on the ball, then panic sets in.
"He wants us to get the shoulders back and just play. We are a young team and over the next year can mature even more."
McGonigle produced a wonderful finish after Darren McCauley's piercing pass just two minutes into the second half.
It was going to take something special to get the better of Morris, but he was left stranded for the striker's fifth league goal of the season.
"It was a great pass through the middle by Darren," added McGonigle. "I just made the run. The first goal in a game like that is always important.
"We created loads of chances, but Elliott Morris was in top form - he was fantastic. A few years ago, Crusaders and Glentoran were putting five and six past us - it's not happening any more. We are now a match for any side in the league."
Coleraine boss Oran Kearney hailed his young guns. He stated: "There is no fear in these lads. They are now playing the sort of stuff we envisaged two years ago.
"It's alright now standing back and taking the plaudits, but we had to take a big leap of faith to invest in these young lads. If these lads get another 60 or so games under their belts over the next two years, it really scares me what they could achieve."
It wasn't such a good afternoon for Glens boss Gary Haveron. He moaned: "Coleraine didn't need to work hard to create their goal - you could have driven a bus through our defence. Our goalkeeper has kept the scoreline respectable.
"He shouldn't have to work as hard. We didn't ask enough questions. With 35 minutes left, we put three up front but still didn't have a shot on target."
GLENTORAN: Morris, Birney, Magee, Caldwell, Allen, Foley, Harmon (Smith, 57 mins), McAuley, Addis (McAlorum, 70 mins), Lavery, Redman. Unused subs: D Nelson, K Nelson, Ferrin.
COLERAINE: Johns, Kane, Mullan, Douglas, McCauley (McLaughlin, 90 mins), McCafferty, Brown, Lyons, Parkhill, McGonigle, Allen. Unused subs: Higgins, Edgar, Morrow, Doherty.
Referee: Mervyn Smyth (Belfast)
Man of the match: Darren McCauley
Match rating: 6/10