Glentoran make point
Coleraine 1 Glentoran 1: David Howland's second half goal plundered a share of the spoils for Glentoran at rain-lashed Coleraine last night.
But Bannsiders boss Oran Kearney admitted his disappointment at failing to take all three points.
Curtis Allen's fifth goal in seven games consolidated fourth place in the table for Coleraine but Kearney said: “On reflection we should have been well out of sight by half-time.
“We dominated the first 45 minutes and created enough chances to have won the game twice over.
“I have to be a little frustrated by that but I cannot pick holes in the players because their performances were superb on a wet night.”
Kearney believes Coleraine can continue to flourish but warned: “We won't get carried away. Our progress has been exceptional but there is a long way still to go.”
Man of the match, Coleraine skipper David Ogilby, added: “We were awesome in the first half and coped well with anything that came our way for most of the game.
“We just want to keep on picking up points over Christmas and New Year to keep in touch with the leaders.”
The woodwork denied home defender Aaron Canning early on. The right-back sent Leon Knight's pass over the head of startled keeper Elliot Morris and the surprised stopper was relieved to see it crash back into play off an upright.
Allen's scintillating run and shot had Morris flapping later but the keeper managed to make contact with the ball and turn it away.
When Glentoran did threaten, striker Richard Gibson raced into the danger area but was dispossessed by a well timed intervention from Ogilby.
Morris did well to beat out Stephen Lowry's free kick and Gibson was similarly frustrated by Coleraine's underworked stand in keeper Gavin Cullen.
Allen finally broke the Glens resistance early in the second half.
Ciaran Clarke collected Canning's throw in and found Knight who flicked a header into the path of his fellow striker, Allen firing past Morris from close range.
Glens substitute Darren Boyce floated over a teasing cross for Gibson who glanced a header at goal only to see Cullen make a vital save.
However Cullen was unable to prevent Howland grabbing Glentoran's equaliser.
The keeper brilliantly blocked Richard Clarke's rocket in the 66th minute but the ball broke for Howland who steered it home for his fourth goal of the season.
Substitute Jason Hill cleared off the line from Ogilby as Coleraine went looking for a winner.
At the other end Clarke misfired inside the box for Glentoran.
Coleraine: Cullen 7, Beverland 7, Ogilby 8, Canning 7, Watt 7, Clarke 7 (Jennings 5, 61), Lowry 7, Tommons 7, McIlmoyle 7, Allen 7, Knight 7. Subs. McNulty, McCauley, McIvor, Bradley.
Glentoran: Morris 6, Nixon 6, Ward 6, Howland 7, Callacher 6, O'Kane 6 (Hill 5, 73), Clarke 6, Burrows 6 (Boyce 5, 54), Martyn 7, Carson 6 (Beggs 5, 77), Gibson 6. Subs. Taylor, McGovern.
Referee: Brian Turkington (Belfast).