Coleraine extend lead with win over Ballinamallard

Coleraine continue to lead the league and open up the gap at the top of the table. Credit: Presseye

High-flying Coleraine extended their lead at the top of the Irish Premiership thanks to a 2-1 win over Ballinamallard United at the Showgrounds on Tuesday night.

Oran Kearney's side are now eight points clear of second-placed Glenavon - the team they will face on Saturday.

All the goals came in the second half after a first 45 minutes which saw plenty of effort but, in the end, both defences remained on top at the break.

Two goals in four minutes put Coleraine in control.

The breakthrough came on 50 minutes - joy for the home side, but despair for the visitors with Jamie McGonigle's cross turned into his own net by Colm McLoughlin.

Then Joe McCready made it 2-0 on 54 minutes and, at that stage, the points seemed in the bag for the league leaders.

However, the Mallards did not give up the fight and it was game on when Matty Smyth headed home for 2-1 with 20 minutes to go.

The visitors made Coleraine sweat right to the end and on 90 minutes Ryan Curran missed a glorious chance to snatch a point, blasting his shot over much to the relief of the home fans.

Coleraine and Ballinamallard in action at the Showgrounds. Credit: Presseye