CRUSADERS FC: We're finished with Charity Shield, says Baxter

Crusaders boss Stephen Baxter insisted his side are 'finished' with the Charity Shield following Saturday's tempestuous showdown against Glenavon.

Wednesday, 3rd August 2016, 10:29 am
Updated Wednesday, 3rd August 2016, 11:30 am
Crusaders' Richard Clarke and Glenavon's Joel Cooper during Saturday's Charity Shield at Mourneview Park. Photo: David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press INLT 31-908-CON

The friendly fixture was punctuated by a number of crunching tackles, with Crues midfielder, and Newtownabbey native Matthew Snoddy, having to go to hospital following a challenge from Rathcoole man Andrew Doyle, a summer signing for the Lurgan Blues.

Baxter vented his frustration at the physical nature of the clash, which was decided by Jordan Jenkins’ winning goal 12 minutes from time.

“There will be no more goodwill, charity gestures from us,” Baxter said after the game.

Crusaders boss Stephen Baxter. INLT 31-901-CON Photo: Presseye

“Crusaders will organise its own fundraising game for the Northern Ireland Hospice or whatever charity is involved. We have no problem supporting such a worthwhile cause.

“But we will not be playing in this fixture. This should be a friendly to raise money for good causes, but that advertisement for our game was poor.

“I saw Paddy McCourt showcase his skill. I saw Gavin Whyte entertain and run at defenders. That’s what I want to watch. The result doesn’t bother me. We lost 1-0 to Glentoran last year.

“We had some good passages of play and some good football. I have watched many Glenavon teams down here and they like to pass the ball. They have a good side.

Crusaders boss Stephen Baxter. INLT 31-901-CON Photo: Presseye

“But I see the injury count and the wildness of some of the tackles, and I couldn’t wait for the game to end.”

Snoddy was in significant distress after he was challenged by Doyle in the 72nd minute. The midfielder was stretchered off before going to hospital.

Crusaders also lost Colin Coates and Michael Carvill in the opening half with head injuries.

The Seaview outfit get their Danske Bank Premiership title defence under way on Saturday when they entertain David Jeffrey’s Ballymena United (3pm).