Misky makes his mark

Oran Kearney said momentum was key to the Bannsiders run of excellent form after they racked up another win on Saturday.
Mark Scoltock makes an ill-judged tackle on Ian Parkhill. photo:Derek SimpsonMark Scoltock makes an ill-judged tackle on Ian Parkhill. photo:Derek Simpson
Mark Scoltock makes an ill-judged tackle on Ian Parkhill. photo:Derek Simpson

Six wins in eight games and three clean sheets on the bounce have lifted Coleraine to within touching distance of the top three.

On Saturday they picked up where they had left off the week before against Portadown as they brushed aside the challenge of Institute.

A first half header by David Ogilby and a treble from Mark Miskimmin after the break gave Kearney’s men a deserved three points.

“It’s another good win for us. Institute stung us badly at the start of the season and deservedly so,” the Bannsiders boss told Times Sport after the game.

“They were by far the better side particularly in the second half that night.

“It added to the bad start we had to the season.

“It was one which we wanted to put right, and credit to the players I thought their attitude and workrate from the first minute to the last today was superb, I couldn’t ask for anything more.

“The big word for us over the last few weeks has been momentum. We are looking after the performances and the work and when we do that we know we will create chances to win games.

“We showed that today, everything has to come together.”

Kearney hailed the efforts of striker Mark Miskimmin after he bagged his first senior hat-trick in Saturday’s 4-0 demolition of Institute.

Miskimmin has taken a while to find his feet at the Ballycastle Road following his August move from The Oval, but with four goals in his last two games he is showing the qualities he possesses.

Speaking after the game though Kearney said he was never in any doubt of Miskimmin’s attributes.

“I played with Mark in my final years at Linfield, I had a good relationship with him then and it has carried on from there,” said Kearney.

“I suppose when you sign someone like that you feel a little bit safer as you already have a relationship with them and you believe that it might be easier to get something out of them, and that’s certainly how it has proved.

“Mark maybe wasn’t as fit as he would have liked to be when he arrived here, but with the run of games he’s getting now he is looking sharper and sharper.

“My big memory of Mark was that he was always a good finisher and for me that’s a trait that you don’t lose. Hopefully we’ll see even more of that over the next few weeks.

“Mark is very grateful to Neil McCafferty for letting him hit the penalty as he is on penalties, I think with the hat-trick opportunity there though it was great of Neil to let him do that.

“I thought Shane McGinty was very unselfish to lay it across for Mark for his first and the role Ian Parkhill played for his second and third was fantastic.

“The whole team in general is firing well but I’m delighted for Mark, it hasn’t been an easy start for him, but to be fair to him he has bought into everything we’re trying to do here.

“He’s enjoying playing for the team and he is working hard, you could see that today.

“The first goal was maybe fortunate in how it came about as it hit off David head and he didn’t really know much about it, but those were the sort of wee things which were going against us at the start of the season.

“To be fair to David he had to be in there to get it.”

Kearney was just as pleased with the clean sheet at the other end and paid credit to Michael Doherty for his late save after having been virtually redundant for most of the game.

“I’m delighted for Michael because a late goal would have spoilt his day as he didn’t really have anything to do throughout the 90 minutes,” said Kearney.

“He pulled off a great save just before the end to earn his clean sheet and as I say he deserved it.

“Michael provides a great backbone to the team and he has been excellent for us since coming back to the club.

“It’s three clean sheets in three games for Lyndon, he must be a lucky charm, and Adam Mullan was superb yet again.

“I seem to be mentioning them every week, but I hope that continues for the next few months because they are performing excellently at the minute.

“They are being back up by the experienced players through the core of the team, it is all working very well at present and long may it continue.

“We have a squad of about 22 now and I think we were missing about seven today.

“It augurs well for the future and it gives us that competition for places which is vital, and if we have injuries we have the players there ready to step in.

“The players are working hard on and off the pitch and they are getting the rewards for it, we just has to make sure we keep it going now,” he added.