‘Tuff’ one to take

Thursday, 15 February 2018

‘Tuff’ one to take thumbnailEoin Bradley is congratulated by his team-mates after his unstoppable free-kick bright Coleraine level against Glenavon at the Showgrounds. wk06050mb

ERRANT finishing allied to an inspired goalkeeping display by former NI international Jonathan Tuffey conspired to stall Coleraine's title chase at the weekend.
The Bannsiders slumped to a second successive home draw in their pursuit of league leaders Crusaders who made no mistake as they defeated Glentoran 4-2 at Seaview.
They dominated for large spells in atrocious conditions but had to be content with a 1-1 draw, Eoin Bradley's brilliantly taken free-kick cancelling out Andy Hall's opener for the visitors.
But that tells only part of the story on a day when Oran Kearney's men should have been out of sight by half-time.
Bradley was denied by Tuffey inside the opening minute and seconds later he was again the hero as he raced off his goal-line to smother the ball after Jamie McGonigle had capitalised on a defensive error to bear down on goal.
Glenavon, too, had their chances in a pulsating opening couple of minutes, Mark Sykes forcing Coleraine goalkeeper Chris Johns into a save in the third minute, while Gareth McConaghie went close at the other end with a header from a Josh Carson free-kick.
The big defender - named Danske Bank Premiership Player of the Month for January - went closer midway through the half but his flick header from a Darren McCauley corner went agonisingly the wrong side of the post.
Former NI midfielder Sammy Clingan tested Chris Johns with a powerfully hit free-kick ten minutes before the break but Johns was equal to his effort, diving acrobatically to his left to turn the ball round the post for a corner.
Five minutes later and the hosts were handed an opportunity to go in ahead at the break when Caolan Marron was adjudged to have brought down Coleraine striker Jamie McGonigle inside the box.
*Read the full story in this week's Chronicle


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