FOOTBALL: Crusaders edge out Coleraine in thrilling League Cup tie

Crusaders  Jordan Forsythe  scores
Crusaders Jordan Forsythe scores

CRUSADERS 3 COLERAINE 2

Crusders progressed to the quarter finals of the Bet McLean League Cup with a thrilling win over Coleraine at Seaview last night.

Coleraine's Jamie McGonigle scores against Crusaders

Coleraine's Jamie McGonigle scores against Crusaders

The Crues bounced back from an early set back after Gareth McConaghie put Coleraine in front to progress to the last eight.

Both sides rang the changes with wholesale changes in defence. The hosts started very brightly and created several chances in the opening minutes.

Paul Heatley drew a good save out of Chris Johns and then fired one across the face of goal.

But it was Coleraine who broke the deadlock on nine minutes as McConighie bundled home Ciaron Harkin’s inswinging free kick.

The hosts responded well as Heatley and Jordan Owens combined, with the latter forcing Johns into another great save on 19 minutes.

McConaghie played a telling role in his own box on 27 minutes as he flicked away Gavin Whyte’s shot which looked destined for the top corner.

The Bannsiders had Scott Whiteside to thank on 34 minutes as he twice cleared off the line in quick succession to deny Heatley and Forsythe. And right on the half time whistle Owens hit the woodwork with a header from a Burns free kick.

The midfielder doubled his and his side’s tally on the hour as he finished off Caddell’s low cross.

But within two minutes Coleraine were level as McGonigle raced passed Beverland to slot home.

A mix up in the visitors’ defence allowed Caddell to ghost in and squeeze the ball past Johns on 75 minutes.

Ciaron Harkin struck the bar with a header late on but the Crues held on.