CRUSADERS 1 COLERAINE 2
Crusaders manager Stephen Baxter believes his players ‘short changed’ their supporters as they fell to a 2-1 defeat against ten man Coleraine. The Bannsiders led 2-0 at the interval through headers by Eoin Bradley and Stephen O’Donnell, before David Ogilby was given his marching orders for a second bookable offence on 61 minutes.
The Crues had a lot of the ball in the second-half but couldn’t find a way past the Coleraine rearguard until the final minute as Jordan Forsythe stroked home from Jordan Owens’ lay-off.
“I’m disappointed because we didn’t compete in the game,” Baxter said.
“Coleraine were more hungry, determined and focused than us and we didn’t earn the right to win the match.
“It was a clueless performance by us and I’m embarrassed by it.
“Our players have swanned about like prima donnas and I apologise to our fans as they were short-changed.”
It marked the first time that Coleraine have won at Seaview since 2010, and boss Baxter was full of praise for Oran Kearney’s men.
“It was a superb performance and they are a lively team,” Baxter added.
“They have got good penetration in the game and have quality players all over the pitch.
“You don’t finish where they did in the league last season and reach the Irish Cup final if you’re a poor side.”
Bannsiders boss Kearney praised his players after a ‘great week’ which has yielded maximum points from fixtures against Dungannon Swifts, Cliftonville and Crusaders.
“The boys have put in a monstrous effort over the last week,” he said.
“We earned our result and I don’t think anyone could begrudge us of the victory.
“To have something left in the tank after going down to ten men with 25 minutes to go was a superb effort.
“I have told the players to rest and recuperate and we aim to get another three points against Warrenpoint Town on Friday night.”
CRUSADERS: Jensen, Burns, Ward, Beverland, Brown, Whyte (Cushley ‘77), Lowry (Snoddy ‘74), Caddell, Glackin (Forsythe ‘46), Heatley, Owens.
Subs not used: McChrystal, Carvill.
COLERAINE: Johns, Whiteside, O’Donnell, Ogilby, Mullan, Carson, Harkin, Lyons, McCauley (Douglas ‘65), McGonigle (Parkhill ‘69), Bradley.
Subs not used: Kirk, Traynor, McCready.