|Coleraine Match Preview|
|Uploaded Sunday, 26th Jul, 2020 at 16:35|
|BALLYMENA United are finally back in action on Monday afternoon when they face derby rivals Coleraine in the semi-final of the Sadler's Peaky Blinder Irish Cup.|
|The last time the sides met was the last league game played before the Danske Bank Premiership was postponed, and ultimately abandoned, because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Coleraine ran out 2-0 winners in Ballymena with goals from a Stephen Lowry penalty and a late Aaron Canning header.|
|Latest results v Coleraine (all league unless stated):|
Ballymena United 0-2 Coleraine, Ballymena Showgrounds, 7th March 2020. Att: 2034
Coleraine 2-0 Ballymena United, Coleraine Showgrounds, 26th December 2019. Att: 2952
Ballymena United 1-1 Coleraine, Ballymena Showgrounds, 14th September 2019. Att: 2225
Ballymena United 1-0 Coleraine, Ballymena Showgrounds, 20th April 2019. Att: 1448
Coleraine 0-4 Ballymena United, Coleraine Showgrounds, 9th March 2019. Att: 2313
Ballymena United 3-3 Coleraine, Ballymena Showgrounds, 26th December 2018. Att: 3352
Coleraine 2-2 Ballymena United, Coleraine Showgrounds, 25th September 2018. Att: 2079
After the season was curtailed, a decision was made to award the teams places on a points-per-game basis, leaving Coleraine finishing runners-up with the qualification for the UEFA Europa League that comes with it. The Bannsiders also lifted the BetMcLean League Cup in February wit a 2-1 win over Crusaders.
Coleraine made it to this stage of the cup with a 2-1 win over Glenavon at Mourneview Park in the 5th round, a 3-0 win over Banbridge Town at Coleraine Showgrounds and a 3-2 win at Larne in the quarter-finals.
It was a long hard slog of a season for United, who were left sitting in 10th spot with just 7 league wins and 6 draws, nowhere near the levels seen the previous season when they finished runners-up to Linfield. After losing 2-1 to a brace of injury time goals by Cliftonville in the final of the Toals Co. Antrim Shield in January, the Sadler's Peaky Blinder Irish Cup is the Sky Blues' last chance to lift silverware this season.
Ballymena United defeated Crumlin Star 2-0 at home in the 5th round, Warrenpoint Town 2-1 at Milltown Playing Fields in the 6th round and a 2-0 win at Ballinamallard United in the quarter-finals.
|Important information for all supporters:|
|No spectators will be allowed into the game due to government regulations, but the game will be shown live on BBC Two NI, the BBC iPlayer, the BBC Sport NI website, as well as BBC Radio Ulster.|
|Referee: Keith Kennedy. Assistant 1: Gareth Eakin. Assistant 2: David Anderson. 4th Official: Evan Boyce.|
|Kick off is 4:00pm.|
|Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, Coleraine were flying high in the league, sitting just 4 points behind Linfield, who were declared winners. United had only won 3 of their last 14 games, all in the Sadler's Peaky Blinder Irish Cup. They say form goes out the window when it comes to derby games, and particularly in cup games, an the lengthy break from football has made this game a bit of a lottery for both games. Both teams will be looking forward to getting back to playing competitive football, and we urge all our fans to fly and wear our colours on Monday afternoon, wherever they're watching from - Come On Sky Blues!|
|Match Preview by Paul Irwin|
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