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Coleraine boss slams suspension rule despite impressive opening win

Coleraine 3 Warrenpoint Town 0

By Steve Simpson

Oran Kearney was delighted to see Coleraine get off to a winning start but was less than impressed to have his options limited by suspension.

Goals from Ian Parkhill, Stephen Lowry and Eoin Bradley saw off Warrenpoint Town at The Showgrounds, where the hosts had to contend without a host of familiar faces.

"The whole time I've been at the club I don't remember a day like today in relation to the amount of players we had missing," said Kearney.

"We have 20 professional players at the club. Lyndon Kane is out long-term injured, James McLaughlin is coming back from a long-term injury, we have two goalkeepers, which takes us down to 16 players - and out of that we had about eight players missing.

"A big part of that is the five players who were walking a tightrope going into the Irish Cup final, they were booked in the final but then are punished three months later.

"It's a rule I've never agreed with, last season is last season, it's history now, people should start the new season with a clean slate.

"We haven't moaned about it, we have just got our head down and planned accordingly. I have to give great credit to everyone."

Opposite number Stephen McDonnell said: "It's a concern that we created so many chances without taking one, but moving forward we need to cut out individual errors."

COLERAINE: Johns, Moore, Harkin, McCauley, Lowry, Gawne (Whiteside, 84 mins), Bradley, Carson, Crown, McConaghie, Parkhill (Brennan, 90 mins). Unused subs: Doherty, McClelland, Owens.

WARRENPOINT: Parr, Foster (Reilly, 46 mins), Hughes, Moan, McGrandles (Watters, 46 mins), O'Sullivan, McCafferty, Lynch (Brennan, 62 mins), Scannell, O'Connor, Wallace. Unused subs: Turker, Brennan, Roohi, Halpenny.

Referee: Lee Tavinder (Dungannon)

Man of the match: Stephen Lowry

Match rating: 7/10

Belfast Telegraph

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