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Coleraine Match Preview
Uploaded Tuesday, 25th Dec, 2018 at 08:02

BALLYMENA United face Coleraine at the Ballymena Showgrounds on Wednesday afternoon in this seasons Boxing Day derby clash.
The sides last met in September, with Tony Kane opening the scoring early in the game, Darren McCauley equalising but Andrew McGrory giving United a half-time lead, only for Stephen McDonnell to level for the Bannsiders with just over 10 minutes left to secure a 2-2 draw.

Last season the Boxing Day derby was at Coleraine Showgrounds, the home side opening the scoring through a first-half Jamie McGonigle goal before Aaron Traynor scored an own goal early in the second-half, the game finish level at 1-1.
Latest results v Coleraine (all league unless stated):
Coleraine 2-2 Ballymena United, Coleraine Showgrounds, 25th September 2018. Att: 2079
Coleraine 1-0 Ballymena United, Coleraine Showgrounds, 14th April 2018. Att: 2440
Ballymena United 0-2 Coleraine, Ballymena Showgrounds, 10th March 2018. Att: 1661
Coleraine 1-1 Ballymena United, Coleraine Showgrounds, 26th December 2017. Att: 3204
Ballymena United 0-2 Coleraine, Ballymena Showgrounds, 30th September 2017. Att: 2227
After coming agonisingly close to winning the Danske Bank Premiership last season, Coleraine lost manager Oran Kearney to Scottish Premiership side St Mirren in September, bringing in Dungannon Swifts boss Rodney McAree as a replacement on a two-and-a-half-year contract. They've struggled to find consistency in the league, winning 5, drawing 4 and losing 5 games.

In their last 2 games they suffered a huge defeat to Glenavon at Mourneview but, on Saturday past, managed a 2-1 home win over McAree's former club Dungannon Swifts. Coleraine currently sit 6th in the league, 4 points behind Cliftonville who have a game in hand and 14 points behind United.
Ballymena United:
Since the last meeting between the sides the Braidmen have lost a single game away to Linfield and were held to a draw at home by Dungannon Swifts, winning the other 16 matches and securing spots in the final of the BetMcLean League Cup and the semi-finals of the Toals Co Antrim Shield.

New club records have been set along the way with a run of 17 unbeaten games in all competitions and 12 wins on the trot, leaving United sitting on top of the table, 4 points ahead of Linfield. Manager David Jeffrey, understandably, continues to play down title hopes and the aim remains a top four finish. While the supporters are obviously enjoying the current position and daring to dream about what may come this season, the game against Coleraine is always a huge event and we hope to come out on the right end of the scoreline.
Information for all Supporters attending the Boxing Day derby:
Supporters from both sides should also read other important information by clicking here.
Match Officials:
Referee: Arnold Hunter. Assistant 1: Kristian Hanna. Assistant 2: Adam Jeffrey. 4th Official: Ross Dunlop.
Match Information:
Tickets are required for all those attending. If you haven't managed to get one, please read this article.

The turnstiles will be open from 1:30pm.

Kick off is 3:00pm.
The last time United managed to beat Coleraine in the league was on Boxing Day 2016, with 3 wins for Coleraine and 4 draws since then. Can the Sky Blues continue their rich vein of form with a win over derby rivals Coleraine? We wish you all a very Happy Christmas and hope to see you at the Showgrounds on Wednesday, being loud and proud in support of YOUR team - Come On Sky Blues!
Match Preview by Paul Irwin