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Coleraine's set-piece prowess can prove crucial in title chase, says skipper

Institute 0 Coleraine 4


Goal joy: Stephen O’Donnell is hailed by Stephen Lowry

Goal joy: Stephen O’Donnell is hailed by Stephen Lowry

Goal joy: Stephen O’Donnell is hailed by Stephen Lowry

Coleraine captain Stephen O'Donnell believes set play know-how could be crucial in the closing stages of the season.

Having lost in their last meeting with Institute at the Ryan McBride Brandywell Stadium, the Bannsiders made no such mistake this weekend and netted three of their four goals from set pieces.

Strikes by Aaron Canning (2), O'Donnell and Josh Carson sealed the three points, much to the skipper's obvious joy.

"It was a big win for us in the sense of coming off the back of a cup final, where it may have been easy for boys to probably go a wee bit soft and get caught up in the end, but we didn't do that," he insisted.

"We were professional and it was all about doing a job, even if it didn't look pretty. For anyone watching, the weather probably didn't help, but we are leaving with three points and that's all that matters."

O'Donnell jokingly admitted that he had to score because he didn't want to put up with fellow centre-back Canning, who grabbed a first half brace.

"I'll tell you what, if I didn't score I couldn't have listened to Snowy, so I had to make sure that I got one in the second half," he laughed.

"But as a team we are getting better at set-pieces and I think that can be a big weapon as we enter the final part of the season.

"You saw on Friday night, two of Linfield's four goals came from set-pieces and we scored three out of our four goals today from set-pieces, so it's going to be a big factor from now until the end of the season and hopefully we can keep pitching in with goals."

Institute coach Paul McLaughlin was annoyed with the manner of the goals they shipped.

"We are really disappointed with the result, but the performance in the first half was OK, but conceding from a couple of set-pieces was really disappointing," stated McLaughlin.

"The boys rallied again after conceding the first goal, but then just before half-time to concede a second, again from a set-piece, was just disappointing and the gaffer (Sean Connor) spoke to the boys at half-time and told them to just keep at it.

"We hoped that maybe the windy conditions might have helped us in the second half but, unfortunately, again we conceded from another set-piece."

INSTITUTE: R Brown, Doherty, Tourish, Curry, Brogan, Tweed, Henry, Burke (Walsh, 56 mins), McLaughlin (Carty, 75 mins), Pomeroy (G Brown, 63 mins, 5), Obhakhan. Unused subs: Douglas, McGuckin, Fitzpatrick, Gallagher.

Coleraine: Johns, Kane, Canning (McConaghie, 69 mins), O'Donnell, Mullan, Parkhill (Allen, 63 mins), Carson, Lowry, Nixon, Glackin (Jarvis, 63 mins), McLaughlin. Unused subs: Morrow, Crown, De Carne, McCann.

Referee: Tim Marshall (Irvinestown).

Man of the match: Aaron Canning

Match rating: 7/10

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