Irish Premiership: Coleraine 1-0 Ballinamallard Utd

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Coleraine edge out Ballinamallard at Showgrounds

Coleraine followed up their Boxing Day win over Ballymena by edging out the Mallards at the Showgrounds.

Rodney Brown scored the only goal, following up to tap in after keeper Alvin Rouse blocked Ian Parkhill's shot on 19 minutes.

Brown also missed out with a header as the Bannsiders dominated.

Coleraine carved out more chances in the second half while Liam Martin almost levelled late on when his shot was tipped over by Michael Doherty.

The win takes the Bannsiders level on points with third-placed Cliftonville and seven points behind leaders Crusaders.

The hosts aimed to capitalise on the wind advantage in the first half and they should have been further ahead at the break.

James McLaughlin saw his early header cleared off the line and Brown managed to miss the target from a close-range header.

Ballinamallard improved after the break as they sought to end a run of nine league games without a win.

However, they failed to threaten while Coleraine were again wasteful with Brown, Darren McCauley and Sammy Morrow failing to convert openings.

The visitors nearly snatched a draw in the dying seconds with an alert Doherty denying Martin but Coleraine held on and made it just one defeat in their last 10 home games.

What they said

Coleraine manager Oran Kearney: "After three defeats we were good against Ballymena on Boxing Day and we played well again to beat Ballinamallard.

"There was a gale force wind blowing out there and the goal gave us something to hold on to.

"It's great that we are up there in the table - we took a risk this season with the number of young players but credit goes to them."

Coleraine sign defender

Coleraine have completed the signing of teenage defender Mark Edgar on a two-and-a-half year contract from Blackburn Rovers.

"I am delighted to add Mark to our squad," said manager Oran Kearney.

"He ticks all the boxes for us. He is a Coleraine lad, he is young and he has bags of ability.

"Mark felt he was not getting enough football over in England so he has decided to come home in a attempt to be playing regularly again."