A place in the semi-final of the Irish Cup beckons for Ballyclare Comrades, but mighty Crusaders bar the way, writes George Brown.
Having to travel to the bookies’ favourites makes this a David v Goliath clash.
The Crues have been flying high in recent seasons under manager Stephen Baxter, and although they have not won the league title for some time, they are renowned cup specialists.
With strikers Jordan Owens, Timmy Adamson and Gary McCutcheon to choose from, they have plenty of firepower up front, which has proved too much for most senior sides, so the Comrades defenders are likely to have a busy afternoon on Saturday at Seaview.
Two potential clashes immediately leap out: Owens v Denver Gage and McCutcheon v Andrew Doyle. The outcome of these tussles could well determine who advances to the last four.
“Crusaders away is just about as tough as it gets,” admitted Reds’ boss Eddie Hill. “They are one of the top teams, and are tipped by many to win the Irish Cup, but we go to Seaview with nothing to lose.
“We will work hard and give it our best shot, but we will certainly have to play a lot better than we did against the Welders.
“I am convinced our players were thinking too much about the Crusaders game, but I am also convinced they will be fully focused come Saturday.
“They have a free-scoring attack, but we have a strong defence, so it should be quite a battle, and we will be doing our utmost to give our supporters something to smile about.”
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