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Eoin Bradley urging Coleraine to consign their Cup misery to the past

Moving on: Eoin Bradley wants a big finish to the season from Coleraine
Moving on: Eoin Bradley wants a big finish to the season from Coleraine

By Alex Mills

Eoin Bradley insists his wounded Coleraine team can't afford to dwell on the disappointment of last weekend's Irish Cup semi-final defeat to Crusaders.

The Bannsiders were victims of a cruel refereeing decision when Tim Marshall pointed to the penalty spot after Sean Ward had taken down Jamie Glackin, then had a change of heart after consulting with his assistant, Richard Storey, on the touchline.

The ramifications of the incident could still be reverberating around the Showgrounds at the end of the season if Rodney McAree's men fail to secure European football via the play-offs.

"We can't do anything about it now," said 35-year-old striker Bradley. "Rodney (McAree) had every right to be angry. I was standing not far from the referee when he awarded the penalty.

"When you look at it on television, the referee had a better view than the linesman. It was a penalty, but there is nothing we can do about it now. It was a massive decision because it possibly deprived the club of qualifying for Europe, which has massive financial implications."

Bradley says Coleraine must pick up the pieces in today's Danske Bank Premiership clash against Cliftonville at Solitude.

"We have to focus on our last five League games," he said. "We need to get into Europe. It shouldn't be a case of picking ourselves up again. We have five games left, so we must set our sights on winning them all.

"We are already guaranteed the (European) play-off, so we need to finish as high up the table as possible.

"We've three away matches, Cliftonville, Ballymena United and Glenavon, and then finish up with Crusaders and Linfield at home.

"There is no reason why we can't put in a big finish.

"The good thing about football is that another game comes up quickly, so it gives us the chance to get the disappointment out of our system. We have the chance to right the wrongs."

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