Belfast Telegraph

Coleraine students are putting knowledge to use as title chase continues, says Kearney

Coleraine 1-0 Dungannon Swifts

By Jonathan McNabb

Coleraine manager Oran Kearney was relieved to see his side defeat Dungannon Swifts as Darren McCauley's strike was enough to separate the two teams at The Showgrounds.

The league leaders had chances to seal a comfortable victory but were wasteful in front of goal and were nearly punished as substitute Ryan Mayse was twice denied by Chris Johns.

"I knew it would be a real tough game," Kearney said. "Dungannon's defensive record is up there with the teams in the top half. Yes, they maybe don't score as many as they would like, but we have to score to win.

"We were a bit lax when the game opened up when we should have killed it, so that's the only bit of frustration. I said to the boys it's been a long time since we had a 1-0 win, but they are good wins to have.

"Going into the closing stages bar the two scares we had we were comfortable, and we saw the game out with everything we have learned over the last couple of years."

It was to be a good weekend for the Bannsiders as they sealed the signing of winger Stephen Dooley, as well as welcoming Lyndon Kane and Eoin Bradley back to training after long-term injuries.

"Speaking to Stephen, I know what it means to him to play for the club he supported as a boy, and that far outweighs everything else because when you get that hunger and desire to want to produce for something which means something to you, it's massive," Kearney added.

"Stephen can play anywhere in the front six and his football education has allowed him to play in a variety of positions.

"Lyndon and Eoin landed back out on the training pitch last Tuesday and they got a round of applause from everyone.

"Lyndon was jogging around with a big grin on his face. The only bigger grin was mine as I was delighted to see him back.

"Lyndon needs to get back into full training, and with the length of time he's been out he'll need a reserve game or two and allow him to find his feet again.

"Eoin has started rehab, but we have to be careful, he's probably looking at the end of December or start of January.

"He has a different view than we have but we'll strike a happy medium and meet him halfway."

Swifts boss Rodney McAree was left frustrated for the second weekend in a row as they suffered yet another narrow defeat.

"I've been frustrated the last two weeks as we have created a lot of opportunities against Linfield and Coleraine," McAree said. "Coleraine had a lot of shots on goal, but Stuart Addis hasn't been overly tested or worked.

"We had a couple of good opportunities in the second half which probably landed at an area which was comfortable for Chris Johns.

"We are frustrated because we have put in two decent performances, it was hard to play on a heavy pitch, but while we can take positives, we have come away with no points.

"If we keep putting those types of performances in, then we will be alright. I feel for them because they deserve something for their efforts, but all we will ultimately get is a pat on the back."

COLERAINE: Johns, Mullan, Harkin, McCauley, Smith, Carson, McConaghie, Lyons, O'Donnell, Traynor, McGonigle (Parkhill, 81 mins). Unused subs: Douglas, Ogilby, Whiteside, McCready.

DUNGANNON: Addis, Hegarty (McMahon, 71 mins), Wilson, Armstrong, Harpur, Teggart (Burke, 56 mins), O'Rourke, Lowe, Clucas, Hutchinson (Mayse, 56 mins), Lafferty. Unused subs: Coleman, Fitzpatrick.

Man of the match: Brad Lyons

Match rating: 7/10

Referee: Steven Gregg (Ballyclare)

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