Belfast Telegraph

Victory showed we've got bottle to count in title race: Kearney


By Jonathan McNabb

Coleraine boss Oran Kearney was quick to heap praise on his players after their 4-1 win over Ards on Tuesday night.

The Bannsiders suffered their first defeat of the season against Linfield last weekend, but bounced back to beat an under par Ards at The Showgrounds.

Kearney was pleased that his side picked up another three points ahead of Saturday's huge game at home to fellow title hopefuls Crusaders.

"I think it was panic stations all around the country apart from our changing room after Saturday's game," Kearney said.

"We spoke after the game against Linfield and said we had lost three points, but the same three points were available on Tuesday and it was important to pick those up.

"It wasn't just about the three points though, all season we have been good at producing for 90 minutes and playing for big parts of the game.

"From the word go we were on the money, we sustained that and kept it going for the whole game.

"It's a great response from the guys and to get the three points."

Kearney was also delighted to see Martin Smith grab his first goal in Coleraine colours following his switch to Ballycastle Road.

"Big Gareth (McConaghie) has weighed in with a couple of good goals from two great deliveries, and it was a great strike from Josh (Carson), but it was pleasing to see Martin get off the mark," Kearney said.

"He is a good footballer. Martin arrived here mid-season and he was lacking probably two or three weeks of games that people had had. He played on Saturday and did very well, and he went up another level again."

Ards boss Colin Nixon rued his side's defensive performance.

His misery was further compounded when David Elebert and substitute Guillaume Keke were forced off with injuries.

Nixon said: "We will work harder and take that into Saturday's game (at Glentoran)."

Belfast Telegraph

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