It was back to winning ways and a good performance for Crusaders tonight as they defeated Coleraine 4-2 at Seaview in the Danske Bank Premiership. A good goalkeeping display from Sean O'Neill kept Crusaders in the game in the first and the second half belonged to David Cushley with two goals even though Crusaders did have a wobble mid way through the second period.
The game started quite tamely but Coleraine did have a header that sailed over while Ross Clarkes free kick was deflected for a corner. Sean O'Neill had an inspired first half and was out sharply to stop a Coleraine attack before saving again by sticking his hand out to divert a shot going into the goal. Coleraine wasted a good chance when James McLaughlin somehow managed to lift the ball over the bar from three yards out unmarked and they kept the pressure on and went close again only for Rory Hale to head a goalbound shot off the line and via Billy Joe Burns into the hands of Sean O'Neill. Crusaders started to play themselves in the game and David Cushley was unlucky when he turned and shot just wide. Sean O'Neill made another fantastic save to keep the score 0-0 and a solid defensive performance was rewarded in time added on in the first half when the ball fell to Colin Coates on the edge of the six yard box from a short corner and build up and he shot home at the near post to leave it 1-0 at half time to Crusaders.
The second half saw Crusaders come out the brighter and they where to go two up in the 52nd minute and what a cracking goal it was. David Cushley shrugged his opponent off and instinctively hit a shot from 27 yards which curled away from Chris Johns and into the net giving the keeper no chance. Minutes later it was David Cushley again at it and he made it 3-0 on 59 minutes when he met a Billy Joe Burns cross and headed down and away from Chris Johns into the net to double his tally on the night. Crusaders then had a wobble and Dylan King pulled a goal back for Coleraine on 65 minutes when he headed home a good cross to make it 3-1. On 78 minutes it was 3-2 when James McGonigle scored from the spot after Colin Coates had fouled Eoin Bradley leaving it "game on" for the last 10 minutes. Ronan Hale went close for Crusaders before Bradley was booked for diving but it was Ronan Hale who made it safe on 87 minutes for Crusaders when he finished well from inside the box to Johns near post to leave the final score 4-2.
A good performance and result for Crusaders and they will now take that into next Friday nights game against Glenavon at Seaview. Thanks for your support tonight and especially to Eventsec who sponsored tonights game.