Belfast Telegraph

Cool Carson helps Coleraine maintain a perfect start

Coleraine 2 Cliftonville 0

By Colin Speer

Coleraine easily swept aside a disappointing Cliftonville side at a sun-soaked Showgrounds. Second-half goals from the impressive Josh Carson and Jamie McGonigle ensured the Bannsiders picked up three points.

Coleraine made two changes from their opening win over Dungannon Swifts with Scott Whiteside and David Ogilby coming in for Aaron Traynor, who dropped to the bench, and the suspended Steven Douglas.

The Reds went with the same starting line-up which easily saw off Ards on Saturday.

A flowing move on 20 minutes saw Ciaron Harkin's pass find Darren McCauley. His centre found Carson, but the winger's header hit the side netting.

A minute later, Reds ace Joe Gormley's cross found Daniel Hughes, but his effort was easily gathered by Chris Johns.

Moments later, the home side appealed for a penalty when Eoin Bradley went down inside the box, but referee Arnold Hunter awarded a free-kick to the visitors and cautioned the Bannsiders striker for diving.

Coleraine deservedly took the lead on 50 minutes as Adam Mullan found Carson, who made no mistake.

They doubled their lead on 63 minutes as Carson's pass released McGonigle and his drive flew past the despairing dive of Long.

Jamie Harney went close to pulling one back on 72 minutes but his powerful header was cleared off the line by Harkin.

The woodwork came to Coleraine's rescue as Gormley hit the post in stoppage time.

Brad Lyons was also denied on 92 minutes as he hit the bar.

Coleraine: Johns, Whiteside, O'Donnell, Ogilby, Mullan; Carson, Lyons, Harkin, McCauley, Bradley (McCready 90), McGonigle (Parkhill 80).

Cliftonville: Long, Cosgrove, Breen, Harney, Ives, Bagnall, J Donnelly, Garrett (Whichester 66), Curran, Gormley, Hughes (M Donnelly 66).

Referee: Arnold Hunter (Maguiresbridge).

Man of the match: Josh Carson.

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