Belfast Telegraph

Sports Awards

Burns in contention for Coleraine debut but battling Ballinamallard will be tough to beat, warns McGonigle

By Jonathan McNabb

Jamie McGonigle insists Coleraine won't be taking basement club Ballinamallard United lightly tonight.

Oran Kearney's troops now trail leaders Crusaders by five points, but with Stephen Baxter's men not in league action due to Irn-Bru Cup commitments, McGonigle has urged his team-mates to cut the gap to two.

"We are under no illusions about how difficult the game will be as Ballinamallard are fighting for their lives," McGonigle said.

"I can't remember getting an easy game at Ferney Park and I don't expect any different.

"We only dropped two points last weekend and we know as a squad that there will be plenty of twists and turns left. It is up to us now to go on a winning run.

"I've played a lot of football this season and I'm enjoying it. With Eoin Bradley returning, we have built up a good relationship and bring the best out of each other.

"I've scored 16 goals in all competitions so far, but I'd like to add a few more to that. My recent record at Ferney Park has been decent, so I definitely don't want that to stop now."

The Bannsiders have recorded maximum points from their two meetings against Ballinamallard this season, but the Dungiven man said: "I don't think that will have any bearing on the game. A lot has changed since then, Ballinamallard have signed well in January and have picked up some notable results."

The Bannsiders could hand a debut to Aaron Burns, as well as welcoming Brad Lyons back.

"It will be great to get the two lads back fit, as well as Stephen Dooley," McGonigle added. "Everyone recognises the talent Aaron possesses and I can't wait to see him in action."

Belfast Telegraph

Daily News Headlines Newsletter

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox.


From Belfast Telegraph