Irish Premiership: Coleraine go second with win over Warrenpoint Town

Fra McCaffrey and Curtis Allen
Warrenpoint's Fra McCaffrey in action against Coleraine double goalscorer Curtis Allen

Coleraine moved into second spot in the Irish Premiership with a hard-fought 2-1 home win over Warrenpoint Town.

Curtis Allen, who scored twice in a midweek win at Carrick Rangers, repeated the trick with two goals inside the opening 20 minutes.

Skipper Fra McCaffrey brought Warrenpoint back into the game before the interval with a low shot.

The Bannsiders were thankful to goalkeeper Gareth Deane for a remarkable double save after the break.

The result sees Oran Kearney's men stretch their unbeaten run to 12 games.

Parkhill and Allen combine

Warrenpoint made a bright start with Kealan Dillon testing Coleraine keeper Gareth Deane with a snap-shot inside the opening five minutes.

But it was Coleraine who went in front on 10 minutes when Ian Parkhill raced down the left flank before squaring for Allen to force the ball past Gabriel Sava from eight yards.

Within nine minutes, the same two players had combined to double the home side's advantage.

From a half-cleared corner, Parkhill fired a shot goalwards which landed at the feet of Allen who spun quickly before firing a shot into the top corner of the net.

Conor Deasy had to make a timely clearance from a Jamie Glackin shot two minutes later as it looked as though the visitors might be overwhelmed but instead they grabbed a lifeline on the half-hour mark.

Jake O'Connor managed to fend off the attentions of Gareth McConaghie in the right-hand channel before squaring for in-rushing 'Point skipper McCaffrey to drill a shot through the legs of Deane.

Allen came close to completing a hat-trick minutes after the interval when his header from a Josh Carson cross came back off the crossbar but the referee's assistant's raised flag would have ruled it out in any event.

Deane's super double save

Coleraine had a remarkable escape with 20 minutes after Deane made a superb save from a shot from substitute Adam Carroll.

The rebound dropped to Brandon Doyle just a couple of yards from goal but the striker couldn't get the ball out from among his feet, allowing a combination of Deane and the base of the post to somehow keep the effort out.

The width of the woodwork prevented Coleraine from extending their lead when over-lapping full-back Carson's cross came back off the face of the crossbar.

Warrenpoint also came close when sub Adam Evans' dangerous dipping cross-shot was clawed away by Deane.

Good work from Eoin Bradley down the right flank saw his cross for Ian Parkhill but he couldn't make a good connection and his low effort was saved by Sava, diving to his right.

"I'm very pleased because I've been very impressed with Warrenpoint this season in how they have strengthened and they have picked up some very good points at home and on the road.

Coleraine manager Oran Kearney speaking on BBC Radio Ulster's Sportsound: "Big credit to our boys, it's been a tough couple of weeks and they've dug in again and dug out a big three points.

"I've said to Curtis (Allen) afterwards that he has scored four goals this week and they are all what I would call Curtis Allen finishes.

"He is a predator and has that sixth sense in around the penalty spot or six yard box - those are the type of goals Curtis his scored his whole career. We're delighted now he is getting that level of fitness and sharpness he needs and the old habits die hard.

"Gareth (Deane) has pulled off a huge save around the 70-minute mark at 2-1 and to be fair to him, in the last few months, he has pulled off two or three like that in different games to secure the three points for us.

"It was a huge effort from everybody but that double save was fantastic.

"I think the last time I looked at the league table we were ninth or eighth on the back of a four-game run and we put it right with a home win over Warrenpoint and we kicked on from there.

"I also know there's a huge amount of really good sides in the league and you could sprinkle the distance between them in points.

"For us, we just roll on to the next one. The one thing we've learned throughout this couple of months is that it is unpredictable and things can be chopped and changed and moved around.

"We have no say or no control over any of those aspects. The only thing we can control is trying to put three points on the board every Saturday and every Tuesday at this point in time.

"We never get too carried away. We have a real good bunch and sometimes in football things go for you and other times they go against you and we've had both this season but we have clawed our way into the midst of things again."

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