IRISH LEAGUE: Allan scores late to earn Coleraine a draw against Ballymena
COLERAINE 2 BALLYMENA UNITED 2
There was an unbelievable finish at Coleraine Showgrounds as substitute Jordan Allan fired in a last gasp brace to give the Bannsiders a share of the spoils against Ballymena United.
The Sky Blues looked to have the game dead and buried as Cathair Friel fired in a second half double.
But Allan scored twice in three minutes to send the home supporters into raptures.
The visitors almost broke the deadlock on eight minutes after some slack defending by the home side.
David Ogilby’s under hit back pass left keeper Chris Johns in trouble as Johnny McMurray skipped past him, but his shot from an acute angle failed to find the target.
The Sky Blues were on top with Tony Kane at the heart of all they did. He tested Johns from distance on 16 minutes, the keeper holding on to his powerful effort.
He tried his luck again on 24 minutes after McMurray had been brought down on the edge of the box, but he failed to trouble Johns this time.
Coleraine finally sprung into action as Jamie McGonigle drew a full length save out of Alan Blayney before the half hour mark.
But it was Ballymena who again looked the more threatening before the break as Gray Thompson and Cathair Friel again forced Johns into action.
Coleraine made a bright start to the second half with both Gareth McConaghie and James McLaughlin forcing Blayney into two good saves in the opening two minutes.
The deadlock was broke on 53 minutes as the in-form Friel reacted quickest to fire home from close range after Kane’s free kick hadn’t been properly cleared.
They should have doubled their advantage four minutes later when Friel teed up strike partner McMurray, but his first time effort ended up on the wrong side of the post.
The Sky Blues were almost punished straight away as substitute Jordan Allan struck the post for the hosts just seconds after coming on.
Coleraine ramped up the pressure but it was David Jeffrey’s side who scored again, and once again it was that man Friel.
The visitors broke clear with McMurray feeding the ball back to his fellow front man on the edge of the box, and he fired low past Johns into the corner of the net.
Coleraine gave themselves a lifeline on 89 minutes as Allan took advantage of a hesitation by Blayney and the striker rounded the keeper before slotting home.
And unbelievably the Derry City loanee got on the end of McGonigle’s cross in stoppage time to snatch a point.
Coleraine: Johns, Mullan, Ogilby (Douglas 53), McCauley, McCafferty, McLaughlin, Brown, Kee, McConaghie, Parkhill (Allan 54), McGonigle.
Subs: Higgins, Edgar, Morrow.
Goal: Allan (89, 92)
Ballymena United: Blayney, T Kane, Owens, Thompson (McCloskey 88), Jenkins, Faulkner, Friel, Wallace, Ervin, McMurray, Loughran.
Subs: Glendinning, Flynn, E Kane, Millar.
Goal: Friel (53, 79)
Referee: Keith Kennedy