Mixed emotions for Coleraine as Euro adventure ends

Oran Kearney admitted it was a case of mixed emotions as Coleraine European adventure eventually came to an end last night.
Stephen Robinson and Oran Kearney at the end of the game. PICTURE: David CavanStephen Robinson and Oran Kearney at the end of the game. PICTURE: David Cavan
Stephen Robinson and Oran Kearney at the end of the game. PICTURE: David Cavan

Yet again the Bannsiders produced an excellent display in the Europa League qualifiers battling back from 2-0 down against Motherwell to take the game into extra time and penalties.

But they couldn't produce their penalty heroics from the previous round in Maribor as Northern Ireland international keeper Trevor Carson produced three excellent saves to send the Scottish side through.

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Speaking afterwards Kearney said he was proud of the journey his side had made but there was also a case of what if.

“There’s a range of emotions now,” said Kearney following the final whistle.

“We didn’t look out of it at half-time but we were on the ropes.

“You have to pay big credit to Motherwell, they came here and did what they had to do.

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“Their intensity was high, we struggled to string a pass together.

“We struggled to lay a glove in simple terms.

“We were probably fortunate to get in at 2-0.

“The message at half-time was the next goal was vital.

“We altered the way we played and caused them multiple problems and deserved to get back level.

“It was on to penalties and the joy we had in the last round it wasn’t to be tonight.”

Well boss Stephen Robinson was full of praise for Coleraine.

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“A very difficult night, we said we would win it any way we could,” said Robinson. “We were 2-0 up and comfortable, but you have to credit Coleraine.

“They made our night very difficult, there was nothing in it in the end.

“I have to credit our lads as well, especially after going down to 10 men.

“But I certainly have to give a lot of credit to Coleraine, they should be very proud of their performance.

“Ultimately, we got what we wanted and that was getting through to the next round.”

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