It was the late late show today as Rory Patterson slotted home an injury time penalty in the last second of the game to help Crusaders to a 3-2 win over Institute at Seaview.
Crusaders came out of the blocks quickly and an early header from Rory Patterson went just over. Patterson did score though on 5 minutes and it was a cracker. With hardly any back lift he met the ball sweetly and the curling ball hit the top corner of the net before Gallagher in the Institute goal had any time to react. Crusaders went looking a second goal but the closest they came was another Patterson effort that went over the bar. Crusaders looked like they where going to steam roll Institute but it was not going to be case as the visitors played themselves into the game and matched Crusaders for the rest of the half. There where little chances for both sides as each others defences stood up well and indeed the only save of note was a Doherty one when he had to push over an Institute shot leaving it 1-0 Crusaders at half time.
It was Institute who nearly equalised early in the second half but the flick went wide across goal before Ross Clarke crashed a long range effort off the cross bar that left the goals shaking. On 54 minutes Institute where awarded a penalty when Colin Coates was pulled up for high feet and Michael McCrudden slotted home. Crusaders where lucky not to be behind but it was Doherty with a great save that kept it at 1-1. Colin Coates was denied a goal bound at the back post with some good defending by Institute and Institute just missed a good chance with the ball shaving the post. Both sides traded chances without success and Ross Clarke had the best chance went his turn and shot went an inch wide with Colin Coates al;so going close but his header went over. Crusaders went ahead again on 85 minutes when Paul Heatley out paced the Institute defender and he calmly put the ball past Gallagher. Institute did not give up and they where level again two minutes later. Crusaders did not close down an attack and Michael McCrudden made no mistake from 16 yards when the ball was played into his feet. The drama was still not over as deep onto the 4 minutes additional time Crusaders where awarded a panalty after David Cushley was fouled and with the Asst referees help Ian McNabb pointed to the spot. It was left to Rory Patterson to step up and he dispatched his penalty comfortably past Gallagher and into the net to make it 3-2. Immediately he scored the referee blew his whistle and 3 points where won in dramatic fashion.
It was late but we got the win and stay in 4th place in the Danske Bank Premiership. The competition changes on Tuesday to the TOALSBookmakers.com Co.Antrim Shield aSemi Final and the visit of Larne.