Coleraine FC 1, Derry City 2
PATRICK McEleney is expected to be elevated into leading the Derry City frontline in 2015 and he did those prospects no harm tonight when netting a brace in this pre-season win over Coleraine.
The ‘Candy Stripes’ formed the opposition for Coleraine defender, Johnny Watts’ testimonial game which was played in front of a few hundred supporters at the Showgrounds.
From a Derry point of view, Peter Hutton’s new look charges failed to sparkle in the opening half but all that changed in the second period when his side raced into a 2-0 lead.
In fact, the only note-worthy scoring incident during the opening period was an Aaron Canning shot for Coleraine which was headed off the Derry City goal-line by Aaron Barry.
However, Derry finally put their mark on the match when netting two goals in the space of eight second half minutes.
And both strikes were registered by Patrick McEleney.
Operating in a striking role, McEleney was set-up by Connor Thompson, the ball appearing to deflect off Coleraine centre-back, David Ogilby which wrong-footed keeper, Micahel Doherty in the 50th minute.
And in the 53rd minute McEleney produced one of his sublime finishes when find the net with lofted shot to stun the home side who had clearly dominated the opening period.
Coleraine hit back on the hour when reducing the deficit. Joe McNeill’s superbly struck free-kick crashed into the top corner and while Gerard Doherty did get a touch, he failed to keep the effort out of his net.
Coleraine - Doherty, Ogilby, Canning, Mullan, Watt, Snoddy, Higgins, McCauley (Beverland, 54), McNeill, Lyons, Parkhill (McGonagle, 54).
Derry City - Doherty; Sharkey (S. McEleney, h/t), McBride, Barry, Jarvis; Dooley (Daniels, 65), McNamee (Houston, h/t), Lowry, Thompson (Timlin, 65); P. McEleney; Boyle (Curran, h/t).
Referee - Mr. G. Thompson.