Pre-Match Guide | Crusaders 2/11/21

We welcome Crusaders to Dixon Park tomorrow evening for the quarter final of the Co Antrim Shield.

Match Info

When: Tuesday 2nd November – Kick-Off 7:45pm

Where: Dixon Park

What: ToalsBet.Com Co Antrim Shield Quarter Final

Entry: Pay at the gate – £10 (Adult) / £7 (Concession) (Reminder that season tickets are not valid for cup games)

Match Sponsor: Brackenwood Property & Estate Management

Ball Sponsor: Riverside Autowash

The Opponents

Crusaders currently occupy 6th position in the Danske Bank Premiership having played 2/3 games less than those above them, due to following Covid 19 protocols. They marked their return to action following their enforced break with victory over Warrenpoint Town at Milltown on Saturday. The Crues moved in front on 17 minutes when Johnny McMurray followed up with the finish after ‘Point keeper saved Paul Heatley’s initial effort. It was 2-0 ten minutes after that following Adam Lecky’s glancing header from a corner but the home side responded quickly to pull a goal back when Alan O’Sullivan converted from the spot after referee Lee Tavinder awarded a penalty for handball. Warrenpoint’s comeback was complete seven minutes into the second half with O’Sullivan’s second of the game when, despite Declan Caddell’s best efforts to clear, he squeezed the ball home from an acute angle. Crusaders regained the lead just after the hour, however, thanks to a Heatley finish past Mitchell after Ben Kennedy had found him with a perfectly delivered pass. ‘Point were reduced to ten men with seven minutes remaining when Daniel Byrne received a second booking following a challenge on Kennedy … and Kennedy himself completed the scoring a couple of minutes after that when he raced clear on the counterattack.

The Comrades

The Comrades missed out on the chance to go level on points at the top of the Lough 41 Championship on Saturday following a three-goal home reversal to Loughgall. Andrew Hoey opened the scoring for the Villagers after 18 minutes which was how it stayed until early in the second half when Jamie Rea doubled their advantage. Nathaniel Ferris then completed the scoring three minutes from time with a tap in from a Hoey cross. The game ended on a sour note when a melee developed near the touchline in front of the visitors’ dugout and escalated to involve most of the players. After order was restored the referee sent off Jason Johnston and Loughgall’s Ferris. Paul Harbinson spoke of his disappointment following the game and admitted the level of performance was concerning. Speaking on tomorrow evening’s upcoming fixture, Harbinson said “It’s an opportunity for us to maybe blow the cobwebs out and get players game time. I’m not overly concerned with winning the Co Antrim Shield, I’m more concerned about ensuring that our performances improve”.

Last Time Out

The last time these two sides met was in a pre-season friendly back in September 2020 where Crusaders were the victors in a 2-1 scoreline at Dixon Park. The last competitive fixture these two sides had was back in March 2014, where Crusaders stormed to a 5-0 victory at Seaview in the quarter final of the Irish Cup.