Matthew Shevlin reaping the rewards of regular football

Matthew Shevlin feels he is benefiting from playing regular football.

The Coleraine striker notched up his fourth goal of the season following his brace over Carrick Rangers on Saturday.

The 22-year-old admitted it has been his best ever start to a campaign and he puts that down to having played regularly since his move to the Bannsiders nine months ago.

And Shevlin, who remarkably made his Irish League debut in 2014, his looking forward to kicking on again.

Matthew Shevlin celebrates his brace against Carrick Rangers with Aaron Traynor and Josh Carson

“It feels weird as I feel older than I am,” he said.

“I’ve been in the league for seven years now but there are a few seasons out of those seven where I could have played more games. I’m happy to be playing now and I feel at home here now.

“It’s hard to believe I’ve been here nine months and I’ve played more games here already than I done in the previous two or three seasons combined.

“It’s probably my best start to a league season so far.

“I’m happy to be playing well and scoring goals.

Aaron Traynor had been joking with me saying he was the top league goalscorer with two goals.

“I’m delighted with my performance and the two goals but as cliché as it sounds, it’s all about the three points.”

Shevlin feels boss Oran Kearney has helped him develop his game since he joined back in January.

He has also been playing and learning off Coleraine’s other strikers.

“Skinner takes a lot of the attention off me when he plays as the centre halves cling and fight to him, so there are a lot of second balls to pick up,” he said.

“My hold up play has came on and despite it not being a key part of my game, other managers have maybe focused too much on that, but I feel Oran has stuck by me.”

With three league goals and one Euorpean goal to his tally already already this term Shevlin is hoping he can added a few more as the season goes on.

“If a striker is playing all season they should be aiming for 20 goals so I’ll see how that goes,” he said.

“The first goal (on Saturday) was a good ball into the box by Lyndon and it bounced below me and I knew I had to keep my head over it and get the contact right.

“I laughed to Oran after the game about the second one as I had a chance against Larne earlier in the season which I caught too well, but this one was more of a scuff and it ended up in the back of the net.”

And as the front man admitted it was all about picking up the three points after the recent disappointments against Larne and Cliftonville.

“To be honest, we didn’t feel pressure because we knew we played well against Larne and we had some positives against Cliftonville,” he said.

“It was about coming here, not thinking about those games and focus on getting all three points.”