Causeway Chronicle

Ten man Bannsiders prove their point

Crusaders 1 Coleraine 1

A well deserved point at a wet and cold Seaview for ten man Coleraine!

Oran Kearney’s men have now lost just once in their last six games.

This was another impressive result after wins over Linfield and Newry City and last week’s draw with Larne.

What a difference a few weeks has made with optimism now replacing the doom and gloom.

The players were applauded off after a gritty game which saw Lyndon Kane sent off.

Crusaders looked dangerous on the attack in the opening exchanges.

And the visitors had a let off after 15 minutes when Robbie Weir blasted over from close range after good work by Paul Heatley.

Conor McKendry had Coleraine’s first shot on target after 19 minutes, cutting inside before trying his luck but Johnny Tuffey saved comfortably.

Matthew Shevlin then held off Billy Joe Burns before driving straight at Tuffey after getting on the end of Dean Jarvis’ 23rd minute pass.

Coleraine broke the deadlock on 29 minutes from the penalty spot.

Josh Carson – returning for the suspended Jamie Glackin – made no mistake after Philip Lowry had tripped McKendry.

Philip Lecky headed a Rose Clarke corner narrowly wide, Ben Kennedy tried his luck with an overhead kick and Heatley shot into the side netting, as the home side tried in vain to hit back before half time.

There was almost more fouls and stoppages than passes at the start of the second period!

But Coleraine, superbly marshalled at the back by Stevie O’Donnell and Graham Kelly, stood firm to the physical battle.

It took a full stretch save from Rory Brown after 64 minutes to keep out Jay Boyd’s header from a great Jarlath O’Rourke cross.

The Crues upped the ante in their search for an equaliser and Kennedy smashed an effort off the crossbar two minutes later, before Brown denied Clarke.

Coleraine were dealt a double blow on 69 minutes as the home side’s pressure eventually paid off.

Lyndon Kane was shown a straight red card for upending Boyd and Jordan Forsythe levelled from the resulting penalty.

Brown made a decent stop to keep out a long range Billy Joe Burns drive and he then punched clear an O’Rourke attempt.

Substitute Lee Lynch had a shot saved on a rare attack for the under pressure ten men.

Coleraine twice almost snatched a sensational winner in the period of eight minutes injury time but first Tuffey saved Jamie McGonigle’s goal bound effort and then the striker had a shot deflected past the post.

It wasn’t to be but nevertheless this was a hard and well earned point by the battling Bannsiders.

Michael Anderson

Michael Anderson