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2nd August 2021

Paul Heatley Testimonial Golf Day Announced

Paul Heatley Testimonial

Golf Day

Sunday 5th September 2021

Carrickfergus Golf Club

Tee Off Times 12-10pm -3-30pm

4 Ball -£170

Individuals £45

Includes a carvery meal (Any extras will have to be paid for on the day)

To book a tee time and payment details email name and mobile number to

Heatstestimonial@hotmail.com

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2nd August 2021

Jordan Forsythe Requests Transfer

Crusaders FC confirm that Jordan Forsythe has rejected new improved contract terms with the club.

Crusaders FC have reluctantly accepted Jordan’s request to be placed on the transfer list.

31st July 2021

Condolences To The Family Of Victor Hunter

Everyone at Crusaders Football Club are saddened to hear of the sad passing of Coleraine legend Victor Hunter. Victor, who is allso the father of ex Crusaders player Barry Hunter, always had a friendly greeting and handshake for Crusaders players and officials every time they met and it was a friendship of many many years.

Chairman Ronnie Millar on behalf of the club wishes to pass on the deepest condolences to Barry and his family circle and also to Coleraine Football Club on the sad passing of Victor and asks that we keep them all in our thoughts and prayers over the coming days and weeks.

At Rest.

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29th July 2021

 

Crusaders Arrange Pre Season Game For This Saturday

Due to the pres season camp and games being called off this weekend in Maynooth Crusaders have hastily arranged a pre season game this Saturday at Seaview. 

Our opponents will be Loughgall FC and the game kicks off at 3pm. 

Admission to the game is  Adults £6 and Concessions £4 with tickets available  via www.crusadersfctickets.com

There will be no cash gate on the day but a mobile ticket office will be in operation at the front of the McDonald Centre. Gates open from 1.15pm with the Legend's Bar open to spectators.

St Vincent Street will be the only access point for the stadium that day.

Due to the game that day no bookings can be taken for food in Harry D's or the Legends Bar. It will be on a first come first served basis only.

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27th July 2021

 

Crusaders Pre Season To Maynooth Called Off

Due to unforeseen circumstances Crusaders FC pre season camp and games this weekend in Maynooth has been cancelled.

24th July 2021

 

Crusaders Win First Pre Season Game

Crusaders pre s eason got off to a winning start with a comfortable 3-1 victory over H&W Welders at Seaview.

The Welders took an early lead when Michael McLellan spotted Johnny Tuffey off his line and he hit an unstoppable shot from distance into the net. Crusaders equalised on 33 minutes when Daniel Larmour scored from close range from a free kick into the box. Crusaders went in at the break 2-1 ahead when Billy Joe Burns met a pinpoint corner kick 9  yards out and his bullet header flew into the net.

The second was dominated by Crusaders and they played some neat football and crisp passing which H&W Welders could not deal with.  Crusaders went further ahead in the 71st minute when Ben Kennedy scored from the spot after a foul on Adam Lecky to make it 3-1 and the game played out as both sets of players started to slow down after playing in very warm conditions. So a win and a good display will make Stephen Baxter pleased with the efforts.

Starting XI...Johnny Tuffey, Lewis Patterson, Billy Joe Burns, Lewis Barr, Daniel Larmour, Ben Kennedy, Robbie Weir, Adam Lecky, Jordan Forsythe, Johnny McMurray, Brandon Doyle.

21st July 2021

 

First Pre Season Game This Saturday 24th

Crusaders first pre season game iS on Saturday and they play H&W Welders at Seaview with a 3pm kick off. Admission to the game is 

Adults £6 and Concessions £4 with tickets available  via www.crusadersfctickets.com

There will be no cash gate on the day but a mobile ticket office will be in operation at the front of the McDonald Centre. Gates open from 1.15pm with the Legend's Bar open to spectators.

St Vincent Street will be the only access point for the stadium that day.

Due to the game that day no bookings can be taken for food in Harry D's or the Legends Bar. It will be on a first come first served basis only.

It will be great too see supporters back at Seaview and we look forward  welcoming you back.

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20th July 2021

 

New Away Kit For Season 2021-22 Now Available To Pre Order

Crusaders are pleased to reveal our new away kit for season 2021-22. It is now available to pre order via www.crusadersfcshop.com and will be available from w/c 2nd August.

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12th July 2021

 

Pre Season Games Announced

As Stephen Baxter begins to look towards the new season Crusaders have arranged several pre season games ahead of the new Danske Bank Premiership season starting on Saturady August 28th.

Pre Season games arranged so far are as follows...

Saturday 24th July v H&W Welders (Seaview @3pm)

Friday 30th July v Maynooth Town (Maynooth University Campus @ 7pm)

Saturday 31st July v Home Farm (Maynooth University Campus @4pm)

7th August v Banbridge Town (Seaview @3pm)

14th August v Carrick Rangers (Loughshore Hotel Arena @3om)

21st August v Glentoran (The Oval @3pm)

We hope to see you at these games and we cannot wait to welcome you back to see the your team team play once again

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9th July 2021

 

Neil Shields Signs New Contract

Crusaders FC are pleased to announce that goalkeeper Neil Shields has signed a one year contract with the club. 

Neil who played the final few games of last season and was aguably "man of the match" against Glentoran and Cliftonville had no hesitation in striking a deal to keep him at Seaview for the incoming season. The 24 year old shot stopper will npw go into pre season and challenge Sean O'Neill and Johnny Tuffey for the keepers jersey. 

We are all happy to see Neil stay and if performances we have already witnessed are anything to go we will see Sean and Johnny pushed to an extra level with three good goalkeepers in the ranks.

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9th July 2021

 

IT’S ALL KICKING OFF AT CRUSADERS FC WITH BELFAST MET

 

Belfast Met and Crusaders Football Club are excited to announce a new collaborative partnership with exciting plans for a new Crusaders Football Academy to commence in September 2022. The new Crusaders Football Academy is a welcome, innovative addition to Belfast Met’s existing well established Football Academy which continues to deliver a high quality, three A Level equivalent Sport programme alongside High Performance football coaching and an IFA coach education programme. The Belfast Met Football academy, which will kick off again in September 2021, has been leading the way in education and skills through football for 11 years and was the first full time football academy in Ireland.

 

Belfast Met is delighted with this opportunity to be the education provider of choice, working in partnership with Crusaders FC to develop what will be a new and ground-breaking education and skills offer for aspiring footballers. The academy will combine their skills on the pitch with their studies, in the heart of the city. The first of its kind Crusaders Football Academy at Seaview will combine a professional football training programme with an accredited qualification, giving skilled players a unique opportunity to develop both on and off the field. The Academy will commence in September 2022.

 

 

 

 

 

Commenting on the new partnership and initiative, Louise Warde Hunter Principal and Chief Executive of Belfast Metropolitan College said “We are delighted to be entering into a collaborative relationship with Crusaders FC to deliver a Crusaders / Belfast Met Football Academy, from September 2022. This welcome and unique opportunity provides learners with multiple qualification and progression pathways through a relevant education and skills offer as well as a flexible delivery model”.

 

Sharon Rivers Head of School for Health, Wellbeing at Belfast Metropolitan College said “This is the right time for this partnership. The collaboration between Belfast Met and Crusaders Football Club will make achievable very exciting possibilities to jointly develop excellent and unique sporting and academic opportunities for our young people and the wider community. We look forward to developing this new project in partnership”.

 

Mark Langhammer, Vice Chair at Crusaders FC, said ”Belfast Met’s football academy will be a welcome addition to the range of community and educational activity at Seaview. In time, we hope that the College will boost the range of its ‘Access’ curriculum at Seaview to enable young people to move on to full and part time education at its Campus sites which include Titanic and Millfield. This strategic alliance fits in with the football club’s strategy and open the door to a range of educational programmes in the North of the City”

 

Nathan Hanley, Head of Youth at Crusaders, said “We are delighted to be working with Belfast Metropolitan College as our education partner with our new Football Academy. The partnership allows Crusaders to offer our young elite footballers the opportunity to train and prepare in a full-time professional environment using our state of art facilities at the Stadium which includes the McDonald Centre’s educational space, multi-purpose gym and onsite catering facilities. The last Academy graduate from Crusaders was Gavin Whyte, who now plays professional football at Cardiff City, and this strategic alliance will open doors for others who have similar aspirations”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Over the next year Crusaders Football Club and Belfast Met will be building a strong partnership and planning their exciting new Crusaders Academy to put young footballers and the local community at the heart of an exciting new education and skills opportunity, giving skilled players a unique opportunity to develop both on and off the field! Belfast Met Football Academy is currently recruiting again for September 2021 and is open for applications.

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7th July 2021

 

Fixtures Out For 2021-22 Season

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5th July 2021

 

Follow Crusaders To Maynooth

The squad are off to Maynooth University for a pre season training camp at the end of July (Fri 30th July-Sun 1st August) and they are playing two matches when they are there on the Friday night and Saturday afternoon.

Why not head down for a few days and enjoy the games and stay close by on the Maynooth University campus itself in great accommodation ? Simply click on the link http://www.maynoothcampus.com/ go to South Campus availabilty and use code CRU_0621

It would be great too see you

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5th July 2021

 

Lewis Patterson Returns To Seaview On Two Year Deal

Crusaders are pleased to announce that defender Lewis Patterson has tonight signed a two year deal with the club after returning from England.

The 18 year old left Crusaders two years ago to play for Fleetwood Town and when his contract finished Stephen Baxter was quick to snap up a player who has everything it takes to be part of Crusaders plans over the next few years and beyond. Lewis was a product  of the Crusaders and Greenisland FC link up as part of the player/coach partnership and after impressing in the Super Cup moved to Fleetwood on a scholarship.

Speaking to the website tonight Lewis said on his return " I am glad to be here. It's a great set up and I am just delighted to be back. My contract at Fleetwood expired and I came back to train with the reserves because I know the manager. One thing led to another and here I am"

Lewis added " I need to prove myself in training and if the gaffer thinks I am good enough hopefully he will put me in"

Welcome back Lewis and we look forward to seeing you in the famous colours when the season starts. Again CruesTV will catch up with both Lewis and Stephen during pre season.

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1st July 2021

 

Teqball Tournament Starts Paul Heatley Testimonial Season

We are pleased to announce the Paul Heatley Testimonial Committee will be holding an open Teqball Tournament at Seaview Stadium on Sunday 18th July 2021.

To register please click link below or scan QR Code on poster. Closing date for registration is Friday 16th July 2021.

https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx...

Payment must also be made to confirm entry and this can be done via PayPal at heatstestimonial@hotmail.com or pay on the day

Click on the link below to see Paul Heatley talk to the Tqball team

https://www.facebook.com/paulheatleytestimonial/videos/1186396831774016

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1st July 2021

 

Brandon Doyle and Jonny Frazer Join Club Officially

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crusaders FC can officially unveil our two signings announced on pre contracts a few weeks. Brandon Doyle joins from Linfield while Jonny Frazer joins from Glentoran after both their contracts ran out at their respective clubs.

Both lads are absolutely bursting to get started with Crusaders and cannot wait to pull on their training gear and get a pre season under their belts and impress Stephen Baxter to get a start.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brandon Doyle spoke to the website last night and said " I am buzzing to get back down to Seaview. I left a few years ago but I think it is the right time to come back in and I am really looking forward to it. " Brandon added "I think getting out on loan has definitely helped me get the experience that I need to push on now and at this age of 22 I just need to do that and Crusaders is the right place to do it."

 

 

Jonny Frazer also spoke with the website and said " I am delighted to join Crusaders. It is a huge club and it is a big opportunity for me and I am really grateful to Stephen and the club to give me the chance. Alll I am focused on now is repaying the faith that Stephen has shown in me by giving me a three year deal"

Welcome both of you officially to Seaview and we will catch up with both players in more detail when CruesTV feature them during pre season.

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30th June 2021

 

Crusaders Off To Maynooth for Training Camp

As part of the pre season training the Crusaders squad are heading down south for a training camp. The squad go down on Friday 30th to set up base camp at Maynooth University where they will train and play two matches over three days.

They will loosen up and train on Friday day before playing on Friday evening against Maynooth Town (7pm) and it takes place on Maynooth University Campus. On the Saturday they will again train before playing a second game  at the same venue against Home Farm (4pm). The team will then train on Sunday morning before travelling home.

We know there will an interest from supporters about following the team down  to Maynooth and we are currenntly waiting on prices for you to stay on campus and will let you know as soon as possible.

Further pre season games will be announced in due course.

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29th June 2021

 

Jamie McGonigle Leaves Crusaders For Derry City

Crusaders FC wish to announce that striker Jamie McGonigle has left the club and signed for League of Ireland side Derry City for an undisclosed fee.

Jamie made 66 appearances for Crusaders scoring 30 goals. We would like to wish Jamie all the very best for his future both on and off the pitch and supporters will of course give you a massive Seaview welcome should you ever play at Seaview again.

Good Luck,

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24th June 2021

 

Season Ticket Prices Set For New Season

Club members unanimously agreed the following membership subscriptions for the 2021/22 season at this evenings AGM. Tickets have been frozen at the same rate bar the primary school ticket  which has been reduced and they also agreed to a new student rate.

Prices are as follows....

Full Member £150
Senior Member ( over 65) £70
Junior Member (under 18 but not of primary school age ) £40
Primary School Member ( Primary school age and below) £5

Student (on production of a student card) £70

Existing members can renew on the club website in the "ticket section" or can call to the club and renew in Harry D's when open.

Potential new members can apply "online" from Friday through the club website also.

Tickets bought up to and including 12th July will have a 20% rebate applied which goes on your card to spend anywhere in the McDonald Centre and Club Shop.

Tickets bought from 13th July and up to and including 31st July will have a 10% rebate applied which goes on your card to spend anywhere in the McDonald Centre and Club Shop .

From 1st August full prices apply.

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21st June 2021

 

David Cushley and Crusaders Agree To Terminate Contract

Crusaders FC and David Cushley have mutually agreed to terminate his contract with immediate effect.

Everyone at the football club would like to thank David for all his efforts and big goals over his time at Crusaders. David was pivotal in our recent successes especially the goal that clinched our league title at Ballymena Showgrounds and the goals that won the Co Antrim Shield final versus Linfield at Seaview. Some memorable occasions... David made 171 appearances for the club scoring 41 goals.

David has written his name into our history books and will always be welcome at Seaview Stadium. Thank you Cush and best wishes to you and your family for the future

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17th June 2021

 

Thomas Logan and Crusaders Agree To Terminate Contract

Everyone at Crusaders FC would like to wish Thomas Logan all the very best for the future both on and off the pitch after both parties mutally agreed to terminate his contract. 

The 19 year old midfielder played just once this season for the senior side and is now available to other clubs and a chance to move on with his career. We will hopefully see you back at Seaview Thomas with another team very soon. Good Luck.

17th June 2021

 

Johnny McMurray Signs On Three Year Deal

Crusaders FC are pleased to announce that striker Johnny McMurray has signed a three year deal with the club. The strong bustling front man joins from Larne where his contract has expired.

26 year old Johnny who has previously played for Cliftonville, Warrenpoint Town, Ballymena United and Larne brings a wealth of experience and we know only to well at Crusaders the problems he has caused playing against us in the past so we are more than happy he is with us now.  

It is a massive  signing for the club as Johnny was being chased by a host of other teams in the Premiership but he opted for us.

We will catch up with Johnny and managerStephen Baxter as soon as pre season is back for interviews where we ill find out plans for the season ahead.

Welcome to Seaview Johnny and we can't wait too see you in Red & Black.

14th June 2021

 

May 200 Club Winners

 

The draw for the May Crusaders 200 Club has been drawn. Low numbers again but as we get back to normality in the coming months we hope we can get too see you all again and get back to where we where pre Covid times

On this occasion 103 members numbers went into the computerised draw meaning the club benefit by £495 and the prize pot to be shared £515. In addition to the money given to the club we where also able to clear a £1000 cheque to give to the club to help purchase the outside furniture in the Legends Bar at Harry D's. The lucky winners are as follows...

1st Prize   Robert White                  No. 236   £257.50

2nd Prize  Simon Todd                      No.182    £128.75

3rd Prize   Michael Reeves             No. 069   £51.50

4th Prize   Michael Reid                   No.183    £25.75

5th Prize    Bryan Collins                 No.188    £25.75

6th Prize    Richard McDowell      No. 074   £25.75

Thanks as always for your support and the funds generated are very  much appreciated by those in the club. If you wish to join please get in touch with Mervyn Knox. It only costs the equivalent of £2.50 a week and it can be taken straight from your back account. We hope you can get involved.

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12th June  2021

 

Jonny Frazer Signs Three Year Deal

Crusaders are pleased to announce that Johnny Frazer has signed a pre contract with the club and will officially join on 1st July when his contract with Glentoran expires.

Jonny, who is 25 years old, brings with him experience of the Irish League having played for Linfield, Warrenpoint Tow, Ards, Glentoran and Carrick Rangers. Jonny was on loan to Carrick Rangers from his parent club Glentoran last season.

Once Jonny is a Crusaders player we will catch up with him and Stephen Baxter for a chat about what the future holds but for now welcome to Seaview and we cannot wait tgoo see you play in Red and Black

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4th June 2021

 

Three More Leave Officially From Seaview

As manager Stephen Baxter continues to revamp his squad in preparation of the new season three more players have officially left the Club as their contracts have expired. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Goalkeeper Gerard Doherty leaves after two and a half years at the club of which the last 6 months he unfortunately was injured. Gerard was a great shot stopper and saved the team on many occasions with some super saves. His professionalism and command of his box and back four  showed why he was signed in the first place. Gerard made a total of 41 appearances for Crusaders and we would like to wish him all the best for the future.

Matthew Snoddys contract has now run out officially after being on a season long loan at Glenavon after initially going to the Lurgan for 6 months previous to that.  Matthew played 247 games for Crusaders scoring 27 goals. It has been widely reported he is signing a 3 year deal at Glenavon and we wish him all the best for his future on and off the pitch. As has been the case already he will receive  a super Seaview welcome everytime he returns.

Kyle Owens contract has also officially run out after a season long loan to Dundela. Unfortunately the pandemic put paid to any football for Kyle this season but we wish him every success going forward in his career both on and off the pitch. Kyle played for Crusaders in two different periods and made 48 apperances scoring 3 goals. Good Luck Kyle and we will hopefully see you back at Seaview with a new club and you will receive a great welcome.

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4th June 2021

 

Rodney Brown Set To Leave Crusaders

Crusaders FC would like to wish defender Rodney Brown all the very best in his future career both on and off the pitch after he has decided to leave the club after a four and a half years. 

Rodney joined from Coleraine in December 2016 and played in a several different positions when called on but he has also suffered with long term injuries but never gave up and worked hard to get match fit again. He was strong in the tackle and his simple ball to create chances for others did not go unnoticed by fellow players and supporters.

Rodney played a 19 times this season and made 7 substitute appearances scoring against Knockbreda in the Irish Cup. His career stats where 89 appearances and 6 goals.

Good Luck with your next club and we look forward to giving you a great Seaview welcome when you come back.

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4th June 2021

 

Michael Ruddy Departs For Portadown

Crusaders FC would like to wish defender Michael Ruddy all the very best in his future career both on and off the pitch after his contract has expired at the club and he moves to Portadown FC.

Michael rejoined the club in June 2018 from Ards and his tough tackling no nonense approach made him a favourite amongst supporters and often gave opponents a torrid time.

Michael played 13 this season and made four substitute apperances scoring against Carrick Rangers. His career stats where 64 appearances and two goals.

Good Luck and we look forward to giving you a great Seaview welcome on your return next season.

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2nd June 2021

Crusaders Football Club Receives Royal Award

Crusaders Football Club has been awarded The Queens Award For Voluntary Service for Providing Important Support and Services in North Belfast.

The Award is the highest form of civic recognition that can be granted to an organisation in recognition of the outstanding work of volunteers. A recent announcement from Buckingham Palace named Crusaders Football Club as a recipient from Northern Ireland to receive this award.

Ronnie Millar, Chairman of Crusaders Football Club commented , "It is a huge honour for the Club to receive this prestigious award and I am extremely proud of our volunteers for their hard work and dedication over the years. We do not remunerate our volunteers, not because they are worthless but because they are priceless."

Further details of the Presentation  of The Queens Award for Voluntary Service will follow.

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1st June  2021

 

Officials Blunder Cause Crusaders Penalty Heartache Again

Crusaders are out of the European Play Offs after yet another blunder by officials during a penalty shootout. This time the assistant referee and referee failed to notice that Michael Ruddys penalty had hit the underside of the bar and went behind the line by a fair distance before apologising after the game when they realised the massive mistake they made. It meant that Cliftonville won the game 5-4 on penalty kicks after 120 minutes of football had failed to seperate the sides. 

Crusaders where by far the superior side and indeed should have been out of sight in the first half alone. Jamie McGonigle had his shot kicked off the line while Paul Heatleys follow up was deflected wide. Several other chances went begging and Jordan Forsythe powerful header went the wrong side of the post just before the half time whistle. The theme kept going and even when Aaron McCarey missed his punch someone would be on hand to stop Jamie McGonigle shot. Cliftonville rallied and O'Connors header was cleared off the line while Johnny Tuffey was superb in a "one on one" and the ball was saved by his chest. As both sides tired Crusaders kept at it and Paul Heatley was unlucky when again McCarey got down to save at the near corner.

Extra time did not seperate the sides and we neaded into the penalties. All 9 spot kicks had been converted and Michael Ruddy stepped up to hit his and even though it clearly went in the referee blew the game up and Cliftonville where through

Full Report To Follow.

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29th  May 2021

 

Help Sharon Get Lifesaving Cancer Treatment

Crusaders are proud to support Sharon as her sister Nicola raises funds to help get treatment that will cure her Ovarian Cancer. 

Please click on the following link to read the story of Sharon and donate to help if you can. 

https://gofund.me/3b8bcbb4

We would also like to wish Sharon all the very best for the future and our thoughts will be with you as you continue your treatment.

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31st  May 2021

 

Match Preview ; Cliftonville v Crusaders European Play Off Semi Final

On Tuesday night the stakes could not be higher for Crusaders as they play North Befast neighbours Cliftonviile for a spot in the European Play Off Final on Saturday. They of course met last week in the Danske Bank Premiership and a late goal from David Cushley earned Crusaders a point but this game will be played to a finish on the night with qualification and not points to earn this time it will be completely different.

It will be a complete change of the team that played on Saturday after Stephen Baxter rested virtually the whole senior squad bar Michael Ruddy and Neil Shields who started and Johnny Tuffey who was on the bench.  Johnny Tuffey will start in nets and the back four of Jordan Forsythe, Billy Joe Burns, Daniel Larmour and Jarlath O'Rourke should play in front of him with Rodney Brown ready to step in also. Paul Heatley, Declan Caddell. Philip Lowry, Ross Clarke, Ben Kennedy Gary Thompson and Robbie Weir will all be pushing for a start in midfield and Stephen Baxter has some big choices to make in that area if all are fit. Up front Jordan Owens who was hurt last week will be assessed but Jamie McGonigle will be ready and David Cushley could also get a mod after an impressive performance at the same venue last week. Adam Lecky misses out through suspension. It's everything to play for and Stephen Baxter will inspire his side to once again go out and take the game to Cliftonvile and to win through to the Final on Saturday. The team will do it with you in their heart.

Cliftonville will be hurt at the late goal by David Cushley last week and it may play on their mind that on the last two visits to Solitude Crusaders have been the better side in large parts of the game and play to the last second. Paddy McLaughlin was not a happy man last week in the manner that Cliftonville did not see the game out and he may make changes in his side. Crusaders will know what to expect and Daire O'Connor and Michael McCrudden will be the two main threats up front with O'Connor of course scoring early the last time the sides met. Rory Hale and Paul O'Neil will control midfield while Levi Ives at the back will be hard to get past. Cliftonville will have added pressure of being at home and this could go against them but like Crusaders they know what's at stake and will be out to win at all costs.

So the biggest game to date ahead for the lads and we will have a small band of supporters in the ground who have been selected by a random draw of the full members. The BBC are also showing the game live on the BBC Sport website and BBCI Player with a kick off time of 7.30pm. Let's get behind our team even if you aren't at the game and with your help we can make the final. Join us in spirit and be the virtual 12th man. C'mon The Crues. Keep The Faith

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29th  May 2021

 

Members Requested To Check Emails

As the request of the General Manager can all members check their emails for one from the club please.

If you haven't received an email please contact generalmanager@crusadersfc.com

Thank You

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29th  May 2021

 

Youthful Crusaders Shine in Glentoran Defeat

It was a day to remember for quite a few players who lined up for their senior debut today for Crusaders at The Oval. Ten players in total 

28th  May 2021

 

Match Preview ; Glentoran v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership

It's the final match day game of Danske Bank Premiership season for Crusaders before moving into the play off games next week and they will be looking to go into that on a high with a win against Glentoran at The Oval (5.30pm) Glentoran though still have a chance of finishing second in the table and will be all out for a win hoping Larne can beat or draw with  Coleraine to help their cause.

Crusaders will have one eye on Tuesday nights Semi Final play off against Cliftonville so Stephen Baxter will take no chances with his squad and will wrap them in cotton wool. Anyone with a niggle will probably not be playing so we will wait too see who does take the pitch. Neil Shields had a great game against Cliftonville and could probably play again but Johnny Tuffey is available after missing out through suspension. Jordan Owens, Ben Kennedy and Andrew Clarke all limped off last Tuesday night and will not play against Glentoran. Youth will get a chance to shine and players in the squad who need game time will also play in a "dead rubber" tie for Crusaders. Go out and show everyone what you can do will be the message from the boss and the result will come.

Glentoran will field a strong team and as said they will be looking to Larne to do them a favour and they could finish in second place by 7.20pm this evening if they win. Strong all over the pitch Crusaders will be up against in form players such as Jay Donnelly and Conor McMenamin up front while Patrick McClean and Luke McCullough will be hard to get by in defence. Dayle Coleing is in nets and it could be his last game for the club so he will want to do well. A win is a must for Glentoran but they will be reminded that Crusaders won at The Oval the last time the sides met there to put them out of the Irish Cup and could do so again.

The game kicks off at 5.30pm and no away fans are allowed in the ground. You can watch on www.247.tv/niprem and the match costs £7 to view. Get behind the lads once again like you have remotely for a large part of the season and get the colours on as well. C'mon The Crues. Keep The Faith.

25th  May 2021

 

David Cushley Earns A Late Point For Crusaders

It was another late late show for Crusaders at Solitude when a David Cushley goal in the 93rd minute earned his side a deserved share of the points in the penultimate Danske Bank Premiership game of the season before we go into the play offs. The 1-1 result plus results elsewhere means Crusaders head back to Solitude next Tuesday night again in the Semi Final play off game regardless of how the final games end on Saturday. 

Cliftonville got off to a fast start and took the lead as early as the third minute when the ball dropped kindly to O'Connor and he blasted home from six yards out. Andrew Clarke shot wide after 9 minutes before Crusaders suffered a blow when they lost Jordan Owens to injury with David Cushley coning on in his place. Both defences where on top and  neither keeper troubled until Neil Shields made a good save on 22 minutes. Cliftonville then  had a period of dominance but Robbie Weir, Daniel Larmour, Billy Joe Burns and Jarlath O'Rourke stood firm. Robbie Weir sent a superb cross in but no one was there to finish and David Cushleys return cross was cleraed. Crusaders suffered another injury blow on 34 minutes when Ben Kennedy was forced off and Gary Thompson replaced him in midfield. David Cushley was denied a run in on goal after a last ditch touch by Aaron Donnelly and seconds later David Cushley had a header cleared. As the half finished Crusaders had a great chance to go in level but Jamie McGonigle shot high over the bar and it was 1-0 Cliftonville at the break.

The second half started evenly with both sides not creating many chances in the opening minutes. David Cushley shot over and a minute later Andrew Clarke put his shot inches wide from outside the box. On the hour David Cushley hit his free kick into the ball and the rebound well over while a shot minutes later by the same player was charged down. It was all Crusaders and again David Cushley produced a great piece of skill when he flicked the ball up spun and shot but it went wide and it was still 1-0 heading into the last 15 minutes. Rory Hale put his free kick high into the stands on 77 minutes while Neil Shields saved well from a Cliftonville free kick. Jamie McGonigles header did not trouble McCarey while sub Thomas Burns nearly scored a great goal but his flick went wide. Neil Shields made a great save from Rory Hale with three minutes left and in the first minute of time added on he again made a wonder save to keep it tight.  Those saves proved important as the clock ticked on and it was David Cushley who popped up to score from close range after Declan Caddell had headed into the danger zone from a good cross and the match ended within a second of the restart to leave it 1-1 on the whistle.

A great performance and special mention to Neil Shields and David Cushley for there displays. We now go to The Oval on Saturday to play Glentoran with one eye already on next Tuesday.

24th  May 2021

 

Match Preview ; Cliftonville v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership

It is back to Danske Bank Premiership action and Crusaders make the short trip to Solitude to play in another chapter of the North Belfast Derby.  Both sides will want a positive end to the league campaign before the play offs begin and with pride also at stake it should be an entertaining game.

Crusaders will try and put the disappointment of the last week behind them and prepare as best possible for Tuesdays game. They will of course be without Johnny Tuffey and Adam Lecky who where both sent off in last weeks Cup Semi Final and Stephen Baxter may choose to rest a couple more as he gets ready for the important play offs starting next week. Neil Shields will be in line to deputise for Johnny Tuffey unless Sean O'Neill proves his fitness. The back four could be tweaked with Rodney Brown and Michael Ruddy both starting as Stephen rests Jarlath O'Rourke and Billy Joe Burns while in midfield we may see Philip Lowry. Ross Clarke or Gary Thompson rested and Robbie Weir getting a start. Up front Jamie McGonigle and Jordan Owens could battle it out to start but Andrew Clarke and David Cushley will also being looking to be involved. Getting back to playing football with a good performance and a few goals will be the main message Stephen Baxter will give his players before kick off and hopefully they will react to his words.

Cliftonville will also be looking a positive response to finish this part of the season off. They can still make fourth place in the Premiership before the play offs start and Paddy McLaughlin will push his players to achieve this over the next two games. It has been a patchy few weeks for Cliftonville but they did beat Glentoran 2-0 Saturday week past to make up for their cup exit a few days before to the same team. Michael McCrudden and Rory Hale are both on form at the minute and will need watched closely but Liam Bagnall and Ryan Curran have also starred in recent weeks and will also need to be watched closely.

So we go again and although supporters are allowed back to games unfortunately it is only home supporters allowed into Solitude for this one. You can watch the game live on www.247.tv/niprem at a cost of £7. It would be great to have you with us in spirit once again so get the game on whatever screen you can watch on and get behind the lads again. Remember we are playing for points and the battle for the Pride of North Belfast. C'mon the Crues. Keep The Faith.

20th  May 2021

 

Peaky Blinder Irish Cup Semi Final 18/5/21

Following legal advice Crusaders FC confirm that an Official Protest has been lodged with the IFA Challenge Cup Committee in relation to the above fixture in accordance with Rule 18 of the competition.

In order to minimise disruption to the competition and given the extremely tight timelines, the details of the protest have been shared with the IFA verbally and a copy of the documentation has been forwarded also by email.

The protest details multiple separate breaches of Laws 10 and 14 of the IFAB Laws of the game.

For the avoidance of doubt NO legal action has been taken as has been misreported widely in the press.

18th  May 2021

 

Peaky Blinder Irish Cup Semi Final

Crusaders FC regret to announce that the club has tonight appointed counsel in relation to today’s penalty shoot out at Mourneview Park.

The club will expedite any actions as quickly as possible to minimise any disruption to the Peaky Blinders Irish Cup Final, but it should be noted that Crusaders FC will take whatever action necessary to remedy the current situation.

Our actions are in no way directed at our friends at Larne Football Club.

We owe it to our players, manager and backroom staff, members and supporters to take this action.

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17th  May 2021

 

Match Previre ; Crusaders v Larne Sadlers Peaky Blinder Irish Cup Semi Final

It's Irish Cup Semi Final action for Crusaders this week and we are off to Mourneview Park Lurgan to play Larne on Tuesday with a 4pm kick off. Both sides know what is at stake in this game and both sides will go all out to ensure they are in the final come Friday night at the same venue.

Crusaders will have a completely different side to the one that played on Saturday in the 1-0 defeat to Coleraine.  Stephen Baxter gave a few of the senior players a much needed rest and they will all return. Johnny Tuffey will play in goals while Daniel Larmour should be joined again by Jarlath O'Rourke, Billy Joe Burns and Jordan Forsythe in defence. Midfield could again have a familiar look about it with the return of Philip Lowry. Ross Clarke and Ben Kennedy to the starting line up after being subs last week plus Paul Heatley and Gary Thompson being named in the squad once again. The performance of David Cushley on Saturday will have got Stephen Baxter thinking and he may be considered alongside Jamie McGonigle, Adam Lecky and Jordan Owens who are all pushing for the forward roles. The team will be very much ready for this and the players who played in the final two   years ago they awill be looking to relive those fantastic moments once again and will push the others on for another final appearance. Crusaders have reached the Semi Finals with a 1-0 away win to Coleraine, 5-0 away win to Knockbreda and a 1-0 away win to Glentoran,

Larne are a team on form but they will know cup football is completely different to th league. They have won 3 of the 4 games between the sides in all competitions this season but those stats mean nothing heading into this match. Tiernan Lynch will have his team set up to play the counter attack which has worked well for them this season but the threat of Crusaders could see him change his tactics. Conor Mitchell in goals had a great game against Linfield on Saturday while Albert Watson and Jeff Hughes are forces to be reckoned with at the back. Fuad Sule, Martin Donnelly and Thomas Cosgrove, because they can create Larnes chances, are three that will need marked closely while up front Johnny McMurray, Dylan Mottley-Henry and David McDaid are all sharp shooters and ready to go.

Larne have reached the Semi Final with a bye in the 1st Round, an 8-1 win over Dollinstown at home followed by a 2-1 home win over Carrick Rangers.

So all ready to go in the first Semi Final. Unfortunately fans will not be in Mourneview Park for the game but it is being televised live on BBC2 from 3.40pm and is also available on the BBC Sportni website and BBCI Player. Finally Radio Ulster are also covering the game. The game kicks off at 4pm and will go to penalties after 90 minutes if all square. We hope you can take the game in and we ask you get behind Stephen and the team from the start like you have with pride all season. A lot to play for so again we say...C'mon the Crues. Keep The Faith.

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15th  May 2021

 

Youth Shine In Narrow Defeat To Coleraine

Crusaders supporters watching online today had a look into the future as Stephen Baxter played four youth players in the game against Coleraine as he gave some senior players a rest ahead of the Irish Cup Semi on Tuesday afternoon.

Andrew Clarke and Brandon Bradshaw both started the game and did not look out of place as Crusaders competed evenly against a Coleraine side that needed a win to keep their slim hopes of winning the title alive.

Early pressure by Coleraine did not really trouble the Crusaders back four or Johnny Tuffey in nets and the closest the visitors came produced a good double save by Tuffey and a clearance eventually from Daniel Larmour. Crusaders came into the game and somehow a Jordan Owens low diving header from close range was deflected over for a corner and Michael Ruddys header from the corner was cleared off the line. Andrew Clarke had a good shot deflected while Marty Gallagher saved David Cushleys header as Crusaders got on top. Both sides traded half chances but it was Marty Gallagher in the Coleraine net who produced a a great save to deny David Cushley scoring from a free kick and as the half came to a close David Cushley finally got the ball past Marty Gallagher but his shot crashed off the underside of the bar and away to safety leaving it 0-0 at half time.

The second half saw another youth player take the field as Thomas Burns replaced Brandon Bradshaw. An early cahnce for Crusaders saw Michael Ruddys effort go just over while Coleraine came back but Josh Carson hit the side netting with his shot. Marty Gallagher again pulled off a smashing save to stop David Cushley but Crusaders where hit with a sucker punch as subs Curtis Allen and James McLaughlin combined for the later to score past Johnny Tuffey on 64 minutes and Coleraine where in the lead. The fourth youth player Jack Patterson replaced Declan Caddell on 70 minutes and again did not look out of place when he took the field and got stuck in. Johnny Tuffey saved well from Curtis Allen but Crusaders where the side that finished strongly with another Marty Gallagher save to deny David Cushley and Thomas Burns hitting the post in time added on only to see it cleared. With that Coleraine where relieved to hear the final whistle and they had won 1-0

A good display then from Crusaders and the narrow 1-0 win was definitely harsh given the chances created. Attention now turns to Tuesday afternoon and the Semi Final of the Sadllers Peaky Blinder Irish Cup at Mourneview Park  (4pm) and the chance to get to the Final next Friday Night.

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15th  May 2021

 

Glover Autos Sponsor Todays Match Ball

We would like to thank Glover Autos Islandmagee for their generous sponsorship of todays match ball in todays Danske Bank Premiership game between Crusaders and Coleraine at Seaview.
Glover Autos provide a friendly, reliable and professional service for any make of vehicle at a reasonable price. Get in touch

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14th  May 2021

 

Match Preview ; Crusaders v Coleraine Danske Bank Premiership

It's an early kick off on Saturday (12.30pm) as Crusaders and Coleraine lock horns again this time at Seaview  in front of BBC Online and                I Player cameras. Coleraine are still well in hunt for an automatic  european spot and will be out to cement that position but Crusaders will also be out to keep their decent form going so a good game is in prospect.

With one eye on Tuesdays  Irish Cup Semi Final Stephen Baxter could rest a few players that have small knocks but this will give others in the squad a chance to show what they can do.  We could see David Cushley and Michael Ruddy return to the starting line up and Andrew Clarke getting another chance to shine after a great performance against Linfield a few weeks ago. Robbie Weir could also be in the frame to start after being sidelined with injury the last few weeks.Thomas Burns, Jack Patterson and Thomas Burns could all be on the bench or even start if called on.

Coleraine will field a strong side as they look to secure second place and a european spot. They will also be out for revenge after Crusaders put them out of the Irsih Cup a few weeks ago. Marty Gallagherwill continue to deputise in goal with Lyndon Kane and Aaron Canning in front of him. Stephen Lowry should lead the midfield battle while Crusaders defence will be hard working with Eoin Bradley, James McLaughlin and Curtis Allen possibly to deal with.

So we go again in front of the cameras and it all starts at Seaview  at the early time of 12.30pm. Unfortunately fans are still not allowed in but you can watch on the BBCSport NI website and the BBC IPlayer. Get behind the lads once again and we appreciate your virtual support as always. C'mon the Crues. Keep The Faith.

11th  May 2021

 

Crusaders Play Larne In Semis

Crusaders will play Larne at Mourneview Park in the Sadlers Peaky Blinder Irish Cup Semi Final Final. The game will be played behind closed doors this Tuesday 18th May at 4pm.

The game will be played to a finish and will go straight to spot kicks if level after 90 minutes

11th  May 2021

 

Magnificent Team Performance Earns Semi Final Berth

It was a performance of superb levels tonight as Crusaders defeated Irish Cup Holders Glentoran 1-0 at The Oval to secure a semi final spot in the Sadlers Peaky Blinder Irish Cup. The winner came from Billy Joe Burns early in the game and add the goal to his own performance and it topped off the man of the match tag he was given.

The game started  and Crusaders had an early let off when Jamie McDonaghs shot crashed off the bar and the follow up shot was kicked well over. The reaction to that miss saw Crusaders step up the pressure and they where rewarded with an opening goal on 10 minutes. Crusaders won a corner and Ben Kennedy took it and it fell perfectly to Billy Joe Burns who headed home at tghe back post and Crusaders where 1-0 in front. Appeals for a penalty when Ben Kennedy went down in the box three minutes later where waved away and soon after Billy Joe Burns defended with authority twice in quick succession to keep the score at 1-0. Ben Kennedy hit the post when he headed a Ross Clarke free kick and Glentoran managed to scramble the ball clear as it ran across the goal and as the half went on both sides manged to keep a decent tempo and some big tackles also followed that was refreshing to see Ian McNabb let go. Ross Clarke hit a beautiful free kick over the Glentoran wall but it went inches wide with Rory Brown rooted to the spot. Paul Heatley was playing some great football on the wing while Gary Thompson was also breaking up Glentoran attacks on a regular basis while the whole side kept a tight shape and went into the break a deserved 1-0 ahead.

The second half started as expected with Glentoran pushing for and early breakthrough but Crusaders stayed strong and indeed Philip Lowry ahd the best chance of the opening minutes when a heavy touch on the ball just took it too far away to get a shot on goal.  Ross Clarke again was not far away with  yet another free kick and Crusaders started to believe they could get the result. Johnny Tuffey had to tip over an awkward free kick that landed in front of him and bounced up on 58 minutes while a Glentoran goal was chalked off for an offside decision in the build up.  Crusaders could have gone further ahead but Glentoran defenders and goalkeeper managed to somehow stop three shots that peppered the Glentoran goal while another pemalty appeal was turned away when a handball in the Glentoran box caused the shout. Glentoran wasted  a good chance when Donnelly headed over on 69 minutes and Ben Kennedy was unlucky not to score when the ball hit his face  and not head when close in on goal. Glentoran started to run out ideas and Crusaders kept going  but Glentoran where by now chasing the game and attacking with little joy. Billy Joe Burns again stepped in on several important occasions to keep Glentoran at bay and even with four added minutes Glentoran could not equalise and Crusaders won 1-0 and went into the hat for the semi finals.

What a performance and result and attention turned to the radio and the draw for the Semi Finals next Tuesday.

10th  May 2021

 

Match Preview ;  Glentoran v Crusaders Sadlers Peaky Blinder Irish Cup Quarter Final

It's another massive game for Crusaders on Tuesday night as they head over the M3 bridge to play Glentoran in the Quarter Final of the Sadlers Peaky Blinder Irish Cup. Crusaders progressed courtesy of a 5-0 victory away to Knockbreda on Saturday while Glentoran made it through with a 1-0 win over fellow Premiership side Cliftonville at home the same day. 

Stephen Baxter will again assess his squad after Saturdays game and pick his strongest side available to him. Hopefully everyone has come through without injury or has recovered from injury to be included and we could see a few more come back into contention. Johnny Tuffey will continue in goals and the back four of Jordan Forsythe, Billy Joe Burns, Daniel Larmour and Jarlath O'Rourke should continue in front of him. Declan Caddell could come back into the squad after missing the last game but possibly a place on the bench at best could be on the cards. Paul Heatley, Ross Clarke, Ben Kennedy where exceptional on Saturday and could be picked on merit but Gary Thompson and David Cushley will push to start also. Up front it is between Jamie McGonigle. Jordan Owens and Adam Lecky again and all three have been playing well of late so a tough call awaits. Stephen Baxter will not need to do much to get his team motivated for this one as each player will know what could await them within the next ten days.

Glentoran had to work hard on Saturday to get their win and fatigue could play a part in the team Mick McDermott picks. The squad is massive at The Oval and full of talent so we await to see who plays. Crusaders will need to be ready for the attacking power of the two Donnellys while at the back Patrick McClean and Luke McCullough have formed a decent partnership to stop sides scoring freely. Rory Brown has also played well as he deputises for the injured Coleing in nets. Glentoran nicked the game in final seconds of the last league meeting at The Oval but they will know cup football shoot outs are different and will have that in their thoughts as how to approach the game.

So an absolute cracking game is on the careds and you can watch the action live on the BBC SportNI website and the BBC IPlayer. Unfortunately supporters are still not allowed in but we know you are with us every step of the way and hope you can watch the game on Tuesday night. Get the tops and scarves on and give it your all in front of the screen. Kick off is 7.45pm and played to a finish on the night. C'mon the Crues. Keep The Faith

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10th  May 2021

 

April 200 Club Winners

The latest draw in the Crusaders 200 Club has been drawn for April. Again low numbers but we understand the times we are currently living in and we will all work hard to get it back where it was before meaning more funds for the club and a bigger prize pot.

On this occasion 108 members numbers went into the computerised draw meaning the club benefit by £515 and the prize pot to be shared £535.

1st Prize   Aidan McCormack          No. 011    £267.50

2nd Prize  Michael Ruddy                  No.169    £133.75

3rd Prize   Robert Beggs                     No. 046   £53.50

4th Prize   Robert White                     No.114   £26.75

5th Prize    David Cushley                  No.109  £26.75

6th Prize    David Francey                   No. 081  £26.75

Thanks again and if you wish to contribute please get in touch with the club to set up a bank transfer and be in the draw. Any cash payers can get in touch with Mervyn Knox to pay up before the May  draw is made early next month

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8th  May 2021

 

Crusaders Away In Quarter Final

Crusaders will play Glentoran at The Oval in the Sadlers Peaky Blinder Irish Cup Quarter Final. The game will be played behind closed doors this Tuesday 11th May at 7.45pm

8th May 2021

 

Crusaders In Five Star Performance To Progress In Cup

It was a good day for Crusaders as they eased past Championship club Knockbreda at Breda Park to go into the Quarter Finals of the Sadlers Peaky Blinder Irish Cup. Five goals and five differtent scorers will go down on the books for this game and a solid performance something that Stephen Baxter will be pleased with.

Adam Lecky settled the nerves with a goal after 19 minutes before Daniel Larmour got his head to a free kcik six minures before half time. Ben Kennedy scored Crusaders third from a spectacular free kick four minutes into the second half and Jordan Owens looping header on 70 minutes, and just after coming on,  made it 4-0. Rodney Brown finished the  goalscoring with a good hit from just outside the box six minutes from time and Crusaders where through,

More To Follow....

7th May 2021

 

Match Preview ; Knockbreda v Crusaders Sadlers Peaky Blinder 2nd Round

It's a change of competition on Saturday and Crusaders travel into hills above East Belfast to play Championship side Knockbreda FC in the Sadlers Peaky Blinder Irish Cup 2nd Round (3pm) Crusaders will be looking to repeat cup success from 2019 while Knockbreda are just happy to be back playing football after a long time away due to the Covid restrictions.

Crusaders will be a different side to the one that took the field last Tuesday night. Niggles and knocks forced Stephen Baxter to rest some of the squad and after a week off they will hopefully have recovered and ready to get back at it. We will have to wait and see if Sean O'Neill returns to nets after missing against Linfield due to injury but Johnny Tuffey will be ready to continue. Daniel Larmour should retain his place after a good performance last time out but Rodney Brown does come back into contention after missing due to a new birth in the family and Jarlath O'Rourke will want back also. Philip Lowry and Gary Thompson should come back into the line up after being on the bench while Paul Heatley will return also to the line up. Up front Jordan Owens, Adam Lecky and Jamie McGonigle will all look to start with a view to getting the gioals that get us through to the next round. Stephen Baxter will by no means under estimate the opponents especially on their own patch and will drive home the message to get the game over early and not have a possible giant killing to deal with.

Knockbreda will be playing only their second competitive game of the season on Saturday with the the only other game being the first round win over Newington. They have nothing to lose in this tie and will be out to get one over on a Premiership team and Crusaders will need to be wary.  Colin McIlwrath will pick his strongest XI to play and included in the side will be Irish League veteran Stephen Garrett who will have a big part to play. Captain Fra Rice will also be a key player and as an ex Crusaders player he will want to play well. Paddy Cafolla is also a player that turn games while last weeks goal scorer Cillin Gilmour will need watched very carefully.

Unfortunately fans are still not allowed in to watch and on this occasion there will not be  live stream of the game. You can stay up to date with minute by minute updates on our facebook page or listen into Sports Sound on Radio Ulster. If successful the draw for the next round will be made minutes after the final whistle. We appreciate your support and hopefully it will not be much longer before we see you again. In the meantime keep the red and black flag flying. C'mon the Crues . Keep The Faith.

4th May 2021

 

Crusaders Go Down Fighting To Linfield

It was a spirited display for an injury hit Crusaders tonight as they went down 3-1 to Linfield. In a game that arguably they where the better side in large parts of the game luck was not to be on their side. 

Crusaders had several good chances in the first half with Declan Caddell making Chris Johns pull off a fantastic save, Jordan Owens  putting over the bar from a few yards out and David Cushley put his header just over the bar. Linfield though made their chance count and Mark Stafford headed into the net at the back post to make it 1-0 after 15 minutes and that was the half time score.

The second half started well when Ben Kennedy got a Crusaders equaliser when he hit the ball high into the net from 3 yards out after the ball fell to him from a corner. Buoyed by the goal Crusaders pushed on and Andrew Clarke who was making his full debut shot just wide minutes later. Linfield though took the lead again when Shayne Lavery finished off after Crusaders failed to clear another corner although Jordan Owens protested he was fouled as the ball came in.  Linfield wrapped the game up with 5 minutes to go when Joel Cooper got a fine touch on the ball ahead of Jordan Forsythe to make it 3-1 and that's how it ended.

Full Report To Follow...

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3rd May 2021

 

Match Preview ; Linfield v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership

Crusaders are back at it on Tuesday night and they make the short trip to South Belfast to play Linfield as  the Danske Bank Premiership prepares to end in just a few weeks before the play offs begin. Crusaders are still pushing for an automatic european spot but there are still positions to be gained for home advantage once said play offs start. Linfield are only points away from wrapping the title up and will look to finish the job as soon as possible but Crusaders will have other ideas.

It will be a case again of assessing the squad and picking the fittest for Crusaders in this game. Several players where rested on Saturday to the bench and they will again come into contention. Sean O'Neill will have the same back four in front of him as Chris Hegarty and Aidan Wilson continue to miss out at centre half through injury. Midfield had a different look on Saturday with Philip Lowry rested but he could return for this one and possibly another being rested but we will wait too see what is decided.  Up front Adam Lecky started from the bench against Larne but possibly could start against Linfield with Jamie McGonigle rested. Alternatively Jordan Owens could get a start and both are rested. Stephen will ask for another big push because we have matched Linfield each time we have met but never got the luck deserved with the performances. A win would get Crusaders back on track after defeat on Saturday that stopped a good run and push us back up the table into a more favourable spot.

Linfield where held to a draw on Saturday against Glentoran and it stopped their march to the title for another few games. David Healy will also look at his squad before selecting his team and it may also mean a few being rested. Linfield played a strong XI on Saturday but with such a big squad they could easily rest four or five and replace them with another strong four of five. At the back we could see Mark Stafford, Jimmy Callacher and Mark Haughey all start again while in midfield Cameron Palmer could be recalled as well as Conor Pepper giving others the chance of a rest. The players will be pushed to finish the league swiftly and Crusaders will need to be at the top of their game to put a stop to that.

The game is again behind closed doors but you can watch on www.247.tv/niprem at a cost of £7. Make sure your watching as we  bid to get one over on one of our biggest rivals over the last few years.  Get the colours on and get behind the lads yet again and they do the best to getthe right result. Your support from a distance is appreciated. C'mon the Crues. Keep The Faith.

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1st May 2021

 

Crusaders Lose 3-1 To Larne

After a good first half that saw Crusaders going in 1-0 up at half time the story was different in the second half when Larne came out a different animal and ran out 3-1 winners. A three goal 15 minute burst after the hour mark saw Johnny McMurray equalise  and Ronan Hale then put Larne ahead. Dylan Mottley-Henry scored a header to make it 3-1 and Crusaders could not come back from it.

Full Report To Follow....

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1st May 2021

 

Crusaders Lead At Half Time

Crusaders are ahead in this evenings Danske Bank Premiership game  against Larne. A 45th minute goal by Ross Clarke seperates the sides when he shot through Conor Mitchells legs in the Larne goal after the keeper had parried away Ben Kennedys strong free kick

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1st May 2021

 

Crusaders Know Opponents In Irish Cup

Crusaders will play  Knockbreda away in the 2nd Round of the Sadler's Peaky Blinder Irish Cup. The tie will be played on Saturday 8th May

1st May 2021

 

Todays Line Up 

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30th April 2021

 

Match Preview ; Crusaders v Larne Danske Bank Premiership

The first game of the split begins for Crusaders with the visit of Larne to Seaview. They sit two points apart in sixth and fifth place and a win for either side will be a big bonus as they look to grab an automatic european spot come the end of the month. 

Crusaders are on a good run of form at the right time and they will look to leapfrog Larne in the Danske Bank Premiership table with a win. Expect little or no change to the line up from Tuesday night unless an injury is reported on Saturday. Sean O'Neill will have a solid back four of Billy Joe Burns, Jarlath O'Rourke, Rodney Brown and Jordan Forsythe in front of him and between them they have formed a good defensive wall that is hard to break down . The midfield have been in sensational form with Paul Heatley, Gary Thompson, Ross Clarke and Philip Lowry all expected to line up again while up front Jamie McGonigle and Adam Lecky have formed a good understanding in the absence of Jordan Owens. Stephen Baxter will have to say little before the game as the incentive is there already to move up the table if they win.

Larne come into the game on the back of two defeats in the Premiership and with it the slim hope of winning the title gone. Tiernan Lynch will demand his side get back to winning ways, look to finish the season strongly and he could possibly tweak his side. They will be reminded how Crusaders came back to draw 3-3 the last time the sides met at Seaview and not to let it happen again. The squad has talent throughout and Crusaders will need to be ready for Fuad Sule and ex Crusaders player Martin Donnelly in midfield while Albert Watson at the back will be a hard man to get by. Up front David McDaid continues to threaten and will need watched.

So all set for the first of the last five games of the Premiership campaign before the play offs. It is live on BBC Sport NI website and also the BBC IPlayer and has a 5-30pm kick off. Unfortunately you the fans are still not allowed into watch and we ask you get behind the lads in every way possible as we go all out for another win.

C'mon the Crues. Keep The Faith.

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29th April 2021

 

Crusaders Join Social Media Boycott

Crusaders FC are proud they are to back the social media boycott to raise awareness of online racist abuse

The boycott runs from 3pm today until 11.59pm on Monday 3rd May is aimed at raising awareness of ongoing online racist abuse directed towards players and officials.

During this period nothing will be posted on Crusaders main account on facebook and Twitter as we make the stand.

This action is being replicated across many oganisations in the UK and will send a strong message to the people who can change things for the good.

There is is no need for abuse of any sort in todays society and we must fight back.

Information regarding our game against Larne tomorrow evening will be found on the main website www.crusadersfc.com where we will have team news ahead of the game, result and who we play in the next round of the Irish Cup when you click in.

#footballforall #standup

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28th April 2021

 

Crusaders Announce Paul Heatley Testimonial Season

It is with great pleasure Crusaders Football Club announce they have granted winger Paul Heatley a testiomonial season in recognition to his time at the club and what he has acheived while at Seaview.

The tricky winger signed in 2012 from Carrick Rangers and his style and form has made him a solid fans favourite. Indeed when "Heats" gets on the ball the crowd are instantly on their feet waiting for the spectacular and that is exactly what he has provided on so many occasions.

Scoring important goals has also been part of his DNA and who can forget the two goals in Panevezys against FC Ekranas in 2014 that put us through to the next round of the Europa League Qualifiers, his goal scored against Glenavon when he plucked the ball out of mid air to score a volley a few years ago or more recently his goal against Coleraine to put us through to the next round of the Irish Cup. Add in the many hat tricks Paul has scored and he has proved what a top class player he has been in the Irish League over the years.

Paul was also recognised in 2015 by the Irish League family winning both the Ulster Footballer of the Year and the NIFWA Player of the Year

Paul has gone on to make 370 appearances scoring a total of 178 goals which works out a goal every two games

We are sure this testimonial season will prove to be popular amongst the fans and we will announce in due course plans to celebrate Pauls year.

Congratulations Heats and well deserved.

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27th April 2021

 

Heatley Magic Proves To Be Winner In Irish Cup

It was that man Paul Heatley who lit up the Sadler's Peaky Blinder Irish Cup 1st Round tonight when he scored a spectacular long range dipping shot that earned Crusaders a passage to the next round and a 1-0 victory over Coleraine at the Coleraine Showgrounds.

It was a tense tactical game that Crusaders dominated but they found Coleraine goalkeeper Marty Gallagher in great form and he saved a succession of Crusaders shots especially in the second half. Crusaders kept Coleraine to minimum chances all game and indeed only a Jamie Glackin effort in the second half that went over and two late chances when they where chasing the game late on where the best Coleraine could offer.

With only five minutes left a Sean 'O'Neill clearance was headed on by Ben Kennedy and with a quick look up Paul Heatley let fly from 30+ yards and it went over Marty Gallagher and dipped under the bar into the net with five minutes left and Crusaders where through to the next round.

Full Report To Follow....

26th April 2021

 

Match Preview ; Coleraine v Crusaders Sadler's Peaky Blinder Irish Cup

It is a change of competition on Tuesday night and Crusaders are off to play Coleraine at the Coleraine Showgrounds in the Sadler's Peaky Blinder Irish Cup 1st Round. Games between the sides have been tough affairs in the Premiership and we can expect another one again as they go head to head with aspirations of winning the trophy come May 21at. Both sides have won the cup in the last three years so the pedigree is there.

Crusaders will certainly be up for this and we can expect little change to the side that defeated Dungannon Swifts on Saturday 2-0. The only fitness doubt from Saturday could be Rodney Brown who limped off in the final seconds after going over on his ankle but he will be assessed and a decision made if he will make it. If he doesn't we may see Aidan Wilson return to the defensive line up or Daniel Larmour is also available to step in. The midfield where exceptional last time out and Paul Heatley. Ross Clarke, Gary Thompson and Philip Lowry should all start again while up front Jamie McGonigle and Adam Lecky continue to forge a good relationship with Jordan Owens watching on from the subs bench ready to get involved if needed. Crusaders have not had the rub of the green at the Coleraine Showgrounds lately but Stephen Baxter will make sure they are all prepared and the home work done before taking to the pitch. The belief in the squad is high and this will go a long way to how they approach the game.

Coleraine continue to impress and they will be looking to get the Irish Cup back they won three years ago. Oran Kearney will field his strongest eleven as he looks to stay in the hunt for a domestic double but he will also know the threat Crusaders posess and bar the second half the last time Crusaders visited he will know Coleraine where second best the last few games. Marty Gallagher continues in goals in place of the injured Gareth Deane while th rest of the side should pick itself. Ben Doherty, Eoin Bradley and Stephen Lowry are the main threats on Crusaders goal while at the back Lyndon Kane and Stephen O'Donnell will be out to stop Crusaders scoring. Coleraine know that battling for silverware on two fronts can be hard but they will give it a real go and in turn it will make for a super game.

So Irish Cup progression is the aim and we want you watching every ball. No supporters unfortunately still in local football but you can watch live on www.247.tv/niprem for £7 and we sincerely hope you can watch it. We ask you to get the Red & Black on and give it everything in front of your screen no matter where you are watching. So order the game now and be the virtual 12th man. C'mon the Crues. Keep The Faith.

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26th April 2021

 

March 200 Club Winners

The delayed March draw has been made for the 200 Club and again we are pleased to announce six lucky winners. Unfortunately due to the pandemic we are going through currently the prize money has been down because we cannot see you at games but we hope to relaunch and get back to bigger prizes when we are allowed which hopefully is not to far away.

Thank you for your support in the meantime and we hope the winners enjoy spending their money.

There where 108 members numbers in the computerised draw  meaning the Club will be £520 richer and members will share £540as follows

1st Prize   J Harbinson           No. 005    £270.00

2nd Prize  Paula Hume          No.  230    £135.00

3rd Prize   Ryan Millar           No.  151   £54.00

4th Prize   Brian Glover         No.  220   £27.00

5th Prize    Fred Bell                No.   076  £27.00

6th Prize    Brian Strain          No.   186  £27.00

Thanks again and if you wish to contribute please get in touch with the club to set up a bank transfer and be in the draw. Any cash payers can get in touch with Mervyn Knox to pay up before the April draw at the weekend.

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24th April 2021

 

Split Fixtures Announced

Following the completion of Round 33 of the Danske Bank Premiership this evening Crusaders split fixtures are as follows

SECTION A FIXTURES

Saturday 1 May 2021

Crusaders v Larne (5.30pm) BBC Sport NI live-stream

Tuesday 4 May 2021

Linfield v Crusaders (7.45pm)

Saturday 15 May 2021

Crusaders v Coleraine (5.30pm) BBC Sport NI live-stream

Tuesday 25 May 2021

Cliftonville v Crusaders (7.45pm)

Saturday 29 May 2021

Glentoran v Crusaders (5.30pm)

EUROPEAN PLAYOFF FIXTURES

Tuesday 1 June 2021

6th v 7th (Provisional)

Friday 4 June 2021

Semi-finals (Provisional)

Monday 7 June 2021

Final (Provisional)

24th April 2021

 

Crusaders Secure Top Six Place

It was another solid performance by Crusaders today as they secured a top six place ahead of the split in the Danske Bank Premiership. Goals from Paul Heatley and Jordan Forsythe in each half was enough to win the game.

Crusaders started strongly 

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23rd April 2021

 

Match Preview ; Dungannon Swifts v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership

It's the last game before the Danske Bank Premiership splits for the final five games and a win for Crusaders will secure them a spot in the top six but a draw could do them depending on the Glenavon result. Crusaders will want to perform better than their last visit to Stangmore a few weeks ago while Dungannon Swifts are looking for another morale boosting win having not won since they beat Crusaders. 

Another good week of training and the  team are ready for the game. We should see little change in the starting line up having played so well last week but Aidan Wilson could be back in the squad if passed fit but a seat on the bench at best could be the aim. Sean O'Neill, Billy Joe Burns, Rodney Brown' Jordan Forsythe and Jarlath O'Rourke should make up the defence while the midfield of Paul Heatley, Ross Clarke, Gary Thompson and Philip Lowry who where all magnificent last Saturday will probably play again. Up front Jamie McGonigle and Adam Lecky continue to gel in the absence of injured Jordan Owens  and will lead from the front again. Crusaders will be mindful of their last visit to Stangmore and Stephen Baxter will make sure that the same mistakes will not happen again and we get that top six spot. 

Dungannon Swifts have been having a torrid time and sit at the foot of the Premiership table with the "non threat" of relegation this season saving them from dropping out.  New manager Dean Shiels is trying to push his own brand of football and the side are possibly findimg it hard to adapt but they will keep going until they get it right.  One win in eighteen games (that win against Crusaders) is why they are where they are but they can put up a fight and Crusaders will need to ready to handle ex Crusaders player Michael Carvill, Alan Teggert and Callum Byers if on form. Dean Shiels has been unlucky in a few games  since he took over and will look to that win to get his side going.

Unfortunately no fans are allowed at the game and hopefully for everyones sake that will change in the near future but it will be live on www.247.tv/niprem at a cost of £7.  Buy the game and get behind the lads from the start as we look to continue the fine form we have been in the last games. We know you are behind us even though you are not there.  C'mon The Crues. Keep The Faith.

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22nd April 2021

 

Biosan & Crusaders Team Up

Crusaders FC would like to thank The Biosan Man  for their support.

We are delighted to have Biosan onboard with pitch side advertising at Seaview Stadium.

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According To Leading UK Laboratory BLUTEST, Biosan Has Been Tested & Kills SARS-CoV-2 COVID-19

For more information please visit https://biosan.store/about

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20th April 2021

 

Reece McGinley and Crusaders Part Company By Mutual Consent

Crusaders Football Club can confirm that Reece McGinley has left the club with immediate effect after coming to a mutual agreement. Reece joined Crusaders on loan from Rotherham United before signing a 3 year deal in June 2019 and made a total of 20 appearances. Alongside his football, Reece had embarked on a career in the personal training industry while progressing his studies in University. Reece, now a fully qualified Personal Trainer, opened up a new gym on Lanark Way with his business partner just before lockdown. Their gym Movement Lifestyle & Fitness has gone from strength to strength and Reece now wants to dedicate all his time and efforts in growing the business. Everyone at Crusaders would like to wish Reece all the very best for the future and wish him every success with his new career path.

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19th April 2021

 

Brandon Doyle Signs Two Year Deal

Crusaders Football Club are pleased to announce that striker Brandon Doyle has penned a two year deal to join in June once his contract with parent club Linfield ends. 

Brandon, who is 22 years old, left Crusaders Youth Academy in and joined Linfield in a two year deal before signing  an extension to 2021. He has though spent two loan spells at fellow Premiership side Warrenpoint Town and that is where he currently plays getting rave reviews for performances.

Brandon will be a welcome addition to the squad as manager Stephen Baxter begins to look towards next season and getting players in place for a fresh challenge.

Once Brandon is officially a Crusaders player we will have a chat with him and Stephen Baxter and  bring you both their thoughts on his return and what he would like to achieve with Crusaders.

Welcome back to Seaview  Brandon and we look forward  to seeing you in the red and black you have worn before.

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16th April 2021

 

Andrew Clarke Makes His Senior Debut For Crusaders

Congratulations to Andrew Clarke who made his senior debut for Crusaders tonight against Glenavon. 

Andrew who is 17 years old was signed last summer from Saintfield United for Crusaders Under 20's  but because of the pandemic has had little chance to shine. He has recently trained with the first team and impressed so much he got his chance and tonight was the icing on the cake.

Well done Andrew and we look forward too watching your progress in the future.

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16th April 2021

 

Crusaders Hit Glenavon For Six

It was a night of goals at Seaview as Crusaders romped to a 6-1 victory over Glenavon in the Danske Bank Premiership. Glenavon started well with an early goal but it only angered Crusaders who scored two before half time and a further four after.

The game started very open and Jamie McGonigles shot was blocked in the opening seconds while Matthew Fitzpatrick hit his shot wide from a tight angle. Glenavon though took the lead on 8 minutes when a Glenavon cross fell kindly to Matthew Fitzpatrick after bouncing off a Crusader player and he smashed the ball home from eight yards giving Sean O'Neill no chance. Glenavon tried to double their lead straight after but Michael O'Connors shot went over while Billy Joe Burns tried to hit back quickly but his shot also went over.  Craig Hyland in the Glenavon goal made a hash of a punch to clear a Crusaders corner and within a minute Crusaders where on level terms. A good build up started with Jarlath O'Rourke who in turn passed to Gary Thompson and his beautiful defence splitting pass found Philip Lowry who passed the ball into the net and it was 1-1. Crusaders had their tails up and Jamie McGonigle shot wide but they kept going and where rewarded on 25 minutes when Paul Heatley ran on to another great pass, this time from Jordan Forsythe, and he stepped round Chris Hyland and shot high into an empty net to make it 2-1 Crusaders. Andrew Doyle did well to stop Jamie McGonigle from scoring and a Ross Clarke free kick hit the wall on 34 minutes with Jordan Forsythes follow up shot going wide. The  home side started to control the game and Paul Heatley was unlucky to be called offside when the ball looked to have come off a Glenavon player and on 42 minutes it was Andrew Doyle who did well to deny Adam Lecky. Just before half time Rodney Brown was on hand to make a good block while Paul Heatleys shot flashed across the goal as the half time whistle followed and 2-1 Crusaders led in an entertaining first half. 

The second half was only two minutes old when Crusaders extended their lead further. Adam Lecky passed the ball back to Ross Clarke and his cross turned into a shot from the edge of the box and it landed over Chris Hylands head and into the net to make it 3-1 Crusaders.  Both sides served up decent football but Crusaders had the cutting edge with Ross Clarke denied a good chance when his shot was blocked and several free kicks where cleared. Jamie McGonigle shot wide on 67 minutes but we only had to wait for a few seconds before it was 4-1. Paul Heatley controlled a pass from Ross Clarke beautifully and he stepped round Craig Hyland again and walked the ball into the net before celebrating. Crusaders where rampant now and seven minutes later Jamie McGonigle had a goal after another super build up that saw a Billy Joe Burns long pass crossed back in by Paul Heatley and Jamie McGonigle headed home from a yard out to make it 5-1. Four minutes later Jamie McGonigle got his second and Crusaders sixth when he made his trademark run before unleashing a curling shot that sailed over Craig Hyland into the net to make it 6-1. The last 10 minutes played out without much incident but young 17 year old Andrew Clarke made his  senior debut up front for Crusaders and Paul Heatley somehow missed an open goal to get his hat trick with two minutes to go. 

So a massive result in more ways than one  for Crusaders and every player played their part in the win. We now switch our attention to next weeks final game before the split away to Dungannon Swifts and a win to see us secure a top six spot before the final five games are played.

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15th April 2021

 

Match Preview ; Crusaders v Glenavon Danske Bank Premiership

Next up for Crusaders in the Danske Bank Premiership is the visit of Glenavon to Seaview in  a game  that has been moved to Friday so it does not clash with HRH Prince Philip Duke of Edinburgh funeral taking place on Saturday. Crusaders are unbeaten in four games now after a poor spell while Glenavon have won three of their last five so a good game is anticipated.

Crusaders kept at it on Saturday and they secured a late point against Cliftonville on Saturday but Stephen Baxter will ask for that and more this time round as we go into this important game. It was a solid performance from everyone last time out and we should see little change in personnel should all be fit and ready to play. Billy Joe Burns may be kept at centre half again with Jordan Forsythe in his usual position but Rodney Brown may come back into contention in the middle of defence leaving a shuffle at the back in front of Sean O'Neill in goals. Midfield as always could be in line for a tweak and we may see Stephen start Robbie Weir if he feels any of the lads need a rest. Jordan Owens missed out last week due to injury but could be included in this one but at best the bench as Jamie McGonigle and Adam Lecky should start again.

Glenavon have been playing well of late and Gary Hamilton is pushing for a late charge into the top six ahead of the split. Crusaders could be up against ex players Colin Coates and Sean Ward who will have an insight into how Crusaders prepare for this game while Matthew Snoddy misses out due to the loan conditions between the clubs. Aside from Coates and Ward Crusaders need to wary of Robbie Garrett who loves to play against them while up front Greg Moorhouse and Matthew Fitzpatrick are the main threats.

So a massive game at Seaview and unfortunately due to restrictions supporters will not be in attendance. You can however follow the game via a live stream that will be available to everyone thanks to Ian at CruesTV and Aidrain at 247.tv

If you are a season ticket holder simply register on the following site https://www.247.tv/niprem (if you haven't already) with your email and password. You will then be able to view the game. It is advisable to make sure it works beforehand and there is a dedicated email to help with any issues should they arise. This game will be free to season ticket holders as voted on at the AGM.

Non season ticket holders and Glenavon supporters can also watch by purchasing on the same website at a cost of £10. This price was agreed by full members present at the AGM.

We need you to get behind us even at a distance. This games is massive and we want you watching with the Red & Black on.  C'mon the Crues. Keep The Faith

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11th April 2021

 

Glenavon Game On Saturday Moved To Friday Night

After agreement between both clubs and the NIFL, our game scheduled for Saturday 17th April will now take place on Friday 16th April, 7.45pm KO at Seaview.

The change was agreed so that our fixture would not clash with the funeral of HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh on Saturday afternoon.

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10th April 2021

 

Silence In Memory Of HRH Prince Philip

Everyone at Seaview today stood with dignity and respect as a minutes silence was observed in memory of the passing of His Royal Highness Prince Philip Duke of Edinburgh.

Cliftonville and Crusaders players along with match officials stood around the centre circle while management teams,substitutes, directors and stewards all stood impeccably to remember the husband of our Queen.

Thought and prayers are with Queen Elizabeth II and the entire Royal Family at this time.

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10th April 2021

 

North Belfast Derby Ends 2-2

It was another cracking end to a North Belfast Derby today at Seaview with a late goal from Philip Lowry that sealed a point each for both sides. It was a game of two halves with Crusaders on the ascendency in the first half befor Cliftonville came out the second and took control before Crusaders came back at the end.

It was pretty even to sart with both sides sizing each other up but Crusaders took a grip of the game and Declan Caddell came close to opening the scoring but his header went straight into Aaron McCareys hands. Paul Heatley made a good run but again McCarey was on hand to cut the cross out before Billy Joe Burns made an important stope as Cliftonville threatened. It was Aaron McCarey again who saved Cliftonville when Paul Heatley got through his defence but he was on hand to made a good save and keep it at 0-0. Crusaders kept going and they where rewarded just before the half hour when Jordan Forsythe came running in at the near post and headed home a Jarlath O'Rourke  corner. Two minutes later Jamie McGonigle could have doubled the lead but he just couldn't catch his shot correctly and for all Crusaders dominance the nearest they came to scoring was a Jordan Forsythe shot that went over leavinng it 1-0 Crusaders at half time.

The second half saw Cliftonville come out of the blocks and put Crusaders defence under pressure but they stood strong. paul Heatley got into a good position in the Cliftonville box but his shot hit a Cliftonville defender but appeals for a penalty where denied.  Just two minutes lateron 55 minutes it was 1-1 when Ryan Curran met a perfect cross and the Cliftonville striker headed past Sean 'Oneill. Crusaders went back at Cliftonville but Ross Clarke was closed down before he could shoot and Jamie McGonigles volley was saved. It was end to end stuff now but Cliftonville took advantage and went route one. A long ball forward seemed to trouble Billy Joe Burns and after going over him Michael McCrudden finished well to put Cliftonville 2-1 up after 67 minutes. Crusaders reacted with a double substitution and pushed on with Philip Lowry getting into the box but not being able to get his shot away. Billy Joe Burns kept Crusaders in the game with a double goal line clearance on 80 minutes as the game started to come to a close but the drama was set to continue. A corner in from David Cushley with two minutes left eventually fell to Philip Lowry and with his back to goal he backheeled his shot past Aaron McCarey and it was 2-2. As the game went into injury time Billy Joe Burns again cleared off the line while Jamie McGonigle had a chance to win the game for Crusaders but the Cliftonville defender did enough to stop him getting his shot away.

With no further action the game ended 2-2 and both sides shared the spoils of a decent game.

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9th April 2021

 

Match Preview : Crusaders v Cliftonville Danske Bank Premiership

Crusaders are finally back at Seaview after 5 games on the run away from home and they have the small matter of a North Belfast Drtby against Cliftonville to play on Saturday (3pm) It has been a topsy turvt few weeks for Crusaders and after several defeats and wins a draw on Tuesday night leaves them still in the bottom half of the table. Cliftonville are only three points ahead with a game in hand so the both have a lot at stake and this should be a cracker.

Crusaders where getting back to winning ways but where pegged back against Carrick Rangers and they know that the next three games are so important to their season and will be out to get the full points. It should be as you where in defence once again with Billy Joe Burns, Aidan Wilson, Rodney Brown and Jarlath O'Rourke in front of Sean O'Neill. Midfield could be tinkered with with Declan Caddell and Ross Clarke returning to the starting line up at the expense of someone that may need rested or nursing a small tweak. Up front Jamie McGonigle,Adam Lecky and Jordan Owens will all battle for a place while David Cushley also remains ready and is something of a specialist in derby games. Stephen will let them now how important the next few games are and will send them out with those words in their ears.

Cliftonville have also had a stop start season similar to Crusaders but they unbeaten in their last five games and are showing they are starting to pick up. The where beaten 2-0 at Seaview earlier in the season and will also have in their memory the late goal by Ben Kennedy at Solitude that shared the points then so they will be out to rectify that. Paddy McLoughlin will as always pick a strong side and Crusaders will need to keep tabs on Michael McCrudden who has scored goals in the last two games while Rory Hale and Ryan Curran are also on form.

So another big game at Seaview and unfortunately due to restrictions supporters will not be in attendance. You can however follow the game via a live stream that will be available to everyone thanks to Ian at CruesTV and Aidrain at 247.tv

If you are a season ticket holder simply register on the following site https://www.247.tv/niprem (if you haven't already) with your email and password. You will then be able to view the game. It is advisable to make sure it works beforehand and there is a dedicated email to help with any issues should they arise. This game will be free to season ticket holders as voted on at the AGM.

Non season ticket holders and Cliftonville supporters can also watch by purchasing on the same website at a cost of £10. This price was agreed by full members present at the AGM.

Get behind the lads once again from home. They know you want to be at Seaview but know you are vwith them in spirit. C'mon the Crues. Keep The Faith

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6th April 2021

 

Crusaders Draw With Carrick Rangers

It was another frustrating night for Crusaders as they drew 1-1 with Carrick Rangers at the Loughshore Hotel Arena to keep them in the bottom half of the Danske Bank P;remiership with three games to go before the split.

Crusaders started on the front foot and took an early lead after 4 minutes when Jamie McGonigle scored into an empty net after a mistake by Carrick keeper Aaron Hogg. Crusaders stayed on top and Paul Heatley was unlucky to double Crusaders when his shot hit the inside of the post and Carrick cleared. Jamie McGonigle and Jordan Forsythe both missed good chances before the half haour and the same two players missed another chance each as Crusaders became n=more and more frustrated . Just before half time Rodney Brown went close but his header went wide as he met Paul Heatleys corner at speed.

In the second half Crusader where not the force they where in the first. Carrick where the better side and Adam Lecky and Rodney Brown did well under pressure. Paul Heatley and Adam Lecky where unfortunate not to score and Jamie McGonigle just could not connect to his shot properly after a good Crusaders build up. The misses came came back to haunt Crusaders on 64 minutes when Cathair Friel hit the perfect volley and it flew past Sean O'Neill to make it 1-1. The goal helped Carrick and they came hard at Crusaders but could not make it count. The best Crusaders could produce was an Adam Lecky header that went wide and a Ross Clarke shot that did not trouble Aaron Hogg. The game at this point fell away and both sides cancelled each other out to the final whistle and the bfinal score of 1-1.

So points lost but we look to Saturday and the North Belfast Derby at Seaview.

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 5th April 2021

 

Match Preview ; Carrick Rangers v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership

Crusaders make the short journey on Easter Tuesday night to Carrick where Carrick Rangers await at Loughshore Hotel Arena in the Danske Bank Premiership. Crusaders will of course be looking to extend the winning run they have started in the last week while Carrick Rangers will want to stop the winless run that extended to three last Saturday. 

Crusaders and Stephen Baxter will assess the squad and check who is fit and ready for this one. A busy March has left the suqad with a series of of niggles and injuries but who ever plays will be up for it. Sean O'Neill will continue in nets and the back four should remain unchanged from Friday night against Ballymena United as long as all have come through the game without any after effects. Paul Heatley returns for selection after missing through suspension so it could be the chance to rest Ross Clarke who played through the pain barrier last time out and came off looking to be in pain while the rest of the midfield could again pick themselves. Adam Lecky and Jamie McGonigle could start again with Jordan Owens effective when he comes on but Stephen may rotate the three if he feels one of the starters needs a rest. More of the same will be the message before kick off as the wins return and the confidence builds again. 

Carrick Rangers currently sit one off the foot of the table but Niall Currie has proved his team can get results when needed. Although no relegation exists this season they will be keen to get out of the relegation places and finish the season on a good run but only winning once in fourteen games is not good form. Players to watch are Cathair Friel and Caolan Loughran who can turn games while at the back Recce Neale will be hard to get by. 

So another game without fans due to restrictions which will hopefully come to an end soon, but you can buy Tuesdays  game on www.247.tv/niprem for £7.50.  We appreciate your support even from a distance and we do look forward to hearing and seeing you from the sidelines very soon. In the meantime get behinf the lads from the start in this one. C'mon the Crues. Keep The Faith.

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2nd April  2021

 

Crusaders Dominant In Win at Ballymena Showgrounds

Crusaders tonight made it two wins in two after a great display against Ballymena United in the Danske Bank Premiership. It was a strong performance over the 90 minutes with a togetherness  throughout and the final score reflected the game.

Crusaders where on the front foot from the start and where unlucky in several attacks as the game started to flow but it was United who could have led when Sean O'Neill was closed down and he hit his clearance against a United player but luckily it went away from goal. Crusaders then took control but attack after attack proved fruitless and it stayed 0-0. Jordan Forsythe nearly put Crusaders ahead on 26 minutes when his header went inches past the post on 26 minutes and two minutes Philip Lowry crashed his header off the bar and it was cleared. 

Sean O'Neill made a smart save from Ryan Waide just after the half hour mark but Crusaders made the last mark on the half with Jamie McGonigle and Adam Lecky both shooting over.

0-0 at half time the second half played out similiar to the first with Crusaders dominant. United had the ball in the net on 50 minutes but it was offside and  after that it was Crusaders who pushed on only to see an inspired performance by United keeper Jordan Williamson who was obviously playing injured.  Just after the hour mark Jordan Owens came on in place of Ross Clarke and Crusaders moved up a gear. United survived three shots on target after 69 minutes and again Jordan Williamson made two vital stops in that attack. On 75 minutes Crusaders made the breakthrough and it was a lovely ball from Adam Lecky who put in Aidan Wilson and after controlling he shot past the keeper to score the goal that would eventually win the game. Minutes later United where awarded a penalty after Rodney Brown handled in the box but Paul McElroy screwed the penalty kick wide and it stayed Crusdaers one up. Jordan Owens missed at good chance at the back post when he headed over but from then on Crusaders played the game out without incident and took all three points home. 

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1st April 2021

 

Match Preview ; Ballymena United v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership

Friday night football for Crusaders this week for the benefit of BBC Sport NI cameras and it's another away game as Crusaders face Ballymena United at the Ballymena Showgrounds in a game that was venue switched in February due to an unplayable pitch at The Showgrounds at the time.  Crusaders are looking to kick on from a long awaited win on Tuesday night against Portadown while Ballymena United continue to enjoy at decent run of form and llok to extend their winning run they are on.

Crusaders will have to look deep into the squad for this one as they will probably be without Chris Hegarty and Ben Kennedy who both limped out of action on Tuesday night. It could mean a return to action for Rodney Brown at the centre of defence or Daniel Larmour could get the nod with  Jarlath O'Rourke, Aidan Wilson and Billy Joe Burns  making up the back four in front of Sean O'Neill. Midfield will change because of the expected missing two so we may see Reece McGinley and David Cushley getting their chance from the start alongside the Declan Caddell and company in the middle of the park, Up front it was Jordan Owens who changed the dynamics of the game on Tuesday and he could start but Jamie McGonigle and Adam Lecky both played well on Tursday night and will be in the frame to begin. Building on the last game and win will be the key message Stephen will hand out prior to the game and with all the prep completed it will be over to the players come kick off to carry out the job.

Ballymena are looking for their fourth win on the trot and eleven unbeaten and David Jeffrey will want the points as he pushes his side towards third place in the table.  They certainly have been on a great run of late but they also know that it could easily come to and end and will know Crusaders are out to do that.  Sean McCartan has been in superb form for United this season and  ex Crusaders player Paul McElroy has also been in form. At the back United have Ross Redman and Conor Keeley ready to stop the Crusaders attack while in midfield Trai Hume Andy McGrory and Jmaes Knowles have also impressed. 

As has been the case for quite a while no fans are allowed into the game but you can watch on the BBC SportNI website and the BBC IPplayer and the game has a 7.30pm kick off. We know you would rather be with us and the players also want you with us but the second best place is front of the TV or laptop so make sure you are there shouting and supporting us through the 90 minutes.

Keep The Faith. C'mon the Crues

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30th March 2021

 

Crusaders Get Back To Winning Ways

It was a good night for Crusaders as they finally got a win after a run of negative results. It all came together on this occasion against Portadown and the the result justified the performance.

It was a decent first half that saw both sides create chances but neither scored. Crusaders lost Chris Hegarty in the opening minutes to injury but regrouped and where unlucky to score with the pressure they created.  The closest either side came was when Philip Lowrys shot was superbly tipped over by Portadown keeper Jabob Carney. Philip Lowry could have had another chance late in the half but he just could not reach Declan Caddells cross.

The second half was similiar to the first and again Crusaders lost another player to injury when Ben Kennedy limped off. Both sides didn't really trouble the respective keepers much until the 63rd minute when Declan Caddell put into his own net when attempting to stop a Portadown shot. Jordan Owens came on at this point and the game changed. Crusaders where a lot more productive as they searched for an equaliser and they finally got it on on 79 minutes when Aidan Wilson got the last touch at the back post. Within a minute it was 2-1 for Crusaders. A good ball was knocked down to Jordan Owens and he calmly side footed the ball past Carney and Crusaders led with 10  minutes to go. The action wasn't over as Crusaders where awarded a penalty with two minutes to go but Jacon Carney saved well to his right to deny Jamie McGonigle getting his goal and Crusaders third.  Thankfully it didn't prove costly as Crusaders played the game out and the three points headed back up the M1.

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30th March 2021

 

Sean O'Neill Signs New Two Year Deal

Crusaders are pleased to announce that Sean O'Neill has signed a new two year deal that will keep him at the club until at least 2023. The deal was signed just before Sean left Seaview for tonights game at Portadown.

A fans favourite Sean has played 343 to date and has won the full set of local medals including a Sentanta Cup medal in 2012. He has mean instrumental in the clubs success over the last 10 years and we now look forward to seeing him again in the future.

We caught up with him and SEan was overjoyed at signing again and said " I am delighted to get it over the line and let's be honest I didn't want to go anywhere else. Everyone knows I love the club and it was only a matter of time before I signed again for the Crues again" Sean went on to say " I am concentrating on playing at the minute with coaching badges down the line but for the meantime it is all about getting results. It is great signing the new contract but even better getting the three points tonight"

Stephen is equally pleased and said "Sean had options on his contract but he chatted to me, we talked things through and he chose not to take the offers that where avaialble to him but showed his tremendous loyalty to the football club and said I am happy to stay and fight for my position at Crusaders. I am delighted he has chosen to do that because he is just an incredible person both on and off the pitch. We are really glad now to have two keepers of this standing at our football club going forward so we are really pleased he has signed"

Stephen finished by saying "Probably when Sean looked at the whole situation and said do you know something this club has been good to me and we certainly appreciate that and when I put it to him around staying  I don;t think it was too difficult a decision for him"

Great to see you stay Oggers. A true Hatchetman

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29th March 2021

 

Match Preview ; Portadown v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership

Crusaders are on their travels down the M1 again this week and this time they go to Portadown and Shamrock Park to play in the latest Danske Bank Premiership game. Crusaders will be looking to get a win that has been eluding them these last few weeks while Portadown agre also in a poor run of results and are also looking to change that.

Crusaders will not look back on Saturdays late defeat but will rather concentrate on breaking the poor cycle of results they are going through at the minute.  Stephen may ring the changes again or he could stick by the same side he played on Saturday wbut onlt he and his management team know what they plan to do. Sean O'Neill got his first since January and should get his place again while Chris Hegarty could team up once again with Aidan Wilson in the centre of defence with Rodney Brown rested. Billy Joe Burns and Jarlath O'Rourke will make up the defensive line. No change to the midfield will see Paul Heatley, Declan Caddell, Jordan Forsythe and Ross Clarke start again while Jamie McGonigle, Adam Lecky and Jordan Owens will all push for the final starting places. 

Portadown will want to change things having only won once in the last five games like Crusdaers. Matthew Tipton could decide to freshen his team up after suffering  a  2-1 loss to Linfield on Saturday evening.  Tipton will look to the 2-2 draw against Crusaders at Shamrock Park as a benchmark to push on for a better result so Crusaders will need to be on their game.  Lee Bonis is the man Crusaders need to watch while Adam Salley is also a danger while at the back Ben Tilney will be a hard man to get by.

Unfortunately supporters will not be allowed iin and we know it is tough both for supporters and players alike but at least you can watch the game on the live stream on www.247.tv.

It costs £7 to watch the game and make sure you log on etc and can see the game just before 7.45pm. Still feel involved and the players will also know you are watching. C'mon the Crues. Keep The Faith.

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28th March 2021

 

Crusaders Lose To Linfield In Tightly Fought Battle

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27th March 2021

 

Crusaders Go Down To Late Goal Agony

Crusaders today where beaten 1-0 by Glentoran at The Oval and again it was the curse of the late goal that sent us home empty handed.

It was pretty nip and tuck throughout the fisrt half and neither keeper was really troubled until late in the half when the returning Sean O'Neill saved well with his legs to keep it 0-0. Paul Heatley had a half chance earlier in the half but could not get his shot away and Crusaders nearly gifted a goal to Glentoran after a mix up but they got away with it.

The second Crusaders started the brighter and could have gone ahead only Philip Lowrys shot was kicked off the line. Again Crusaders had a mix up in defence and Sean O'Neill clawed the ball away. Jay Donnelly then missed a header when well placed and as the game edged to a draw up popped Jay Donnelly between two Crusaders defenders and lobbed the advancing Sean O'Neill in the first minute of added time. Crusaders had two great chances to equalise in the last three minutes of added time but Ross Clarke shot over and Philip Lowrys diving header also went over but it was a slight touch from Luke McCullough that put him off.

With no time left the ref blew the whistle and it was a hard defeat to take as the game ended 1-0

26th March 2021

 

Crusaders FC Are Pleased To Support Eimears Wish

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26th March 2021

 

Match Preview ; Glentoran v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership

Crusaders make the short journey to East Belfast on Saturday to play Glentoran at The Oval as the Danske Bank Premiership continues. Crusaders by their own high standards are going through a rough patch with results hard to come by while Glentorans season continues to edge along quietly with a few setbacks here and there.

Crusaders fell to a shock defeat to bottom side Dungannon Swifts on Tuesday night and Stephen Baxter will look for an instant response and a win to shake that off. Changes where made but didn't pay off and we will to see who returns or stays in the side come 3pm on Saturday. We will see the return of Jarlath O'Rourke after suspension while Chris Hegarty may be available after injury but we wait and see. Daniel Larmour may keep his place after playing on Tuesday night but Aidan Wilson could return beside Rodney Brown. Paul Heatley, Ben Kennedy, Ross Clarke and Robbie Weir where all named on the bench last time out and several of these players could start in midfield with Reece McGinley or Davis Cushley being rested while Adam Lecky will be looking to start at the expense of Jamie McGonigle or Jordan Owens up front or all three could be in line to start. Stephen Baxter will ask his players to keep at it during this tough time and he knows a win could kick start Crusaders season again and another tilt at an automatic European slot come  May.

Mick McDermotts side have slowly moved up the table and currently sit  in third place with two games in hand over leaders Linfield  with a 12 point difference. Glentoran have spent big and the players are starting to come together so Crusaders will need to raise their game to compete. Quality all over the park Crusaders main threats come from Jay Donnelly and Robbie McDaid up front while their midfield could be strong opposition with the likes of Gael Bigirimana, Hrvoje Plum and Dale Gorman  all available. Crusaders strikers will have their work cut out getting by Marus Kane, Luke McCullough and Willie Garrett if selected.

Unfortunately no fans are allowed at the game but it will be live on www.247.tv/niprem at a cost of £7.  Buy the game and get behind the lads as we look to get away from our poor run of results lately.. We are all in this together. C'mon The Crues. Keep The Faith.

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23rd March 2021

 

Crusaders Lose To Dungannon Swifts

Crusaders went down 2-1 this evening to  Dungannon Swifts at Stangmore Park. It was nip and tuck for most of the first half with Jamie McGonigle going close for Crusaders while Johnny Tuffey pulled off a good save when the score was still 0-0. The game was heading to a scoreless half time but Dungannon Swifts Callum Byers popped up at the back post and bundled the ball home to give the home side the lead at half time.

Crusaders made changes in the the second half but still found it hard to break down the defence of Dungannon Swifts. Indeed it was the home side who doubled their lead with Rory Patterson scoring an powerful free kick from 25 yards just after the hour mark. Patterson also missed a further two chances whenhe blazed over the bar when well placed and also hitting the cross bar from only a few yards out. Crusaders did pull a goal back when Jamie McGonigle scored a close range header from a few yards out on 77 minutes and despite a lot pressure and hitting the post in the last seconds Crusaders could not get the equaliser and the game was lost.

More To Follow...

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22nd  March 2021

 

Match Preview ; Dungannon Swifts v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership

The games keep on coming for Crusaders and they are off down the M1 to play Dungannon Swifts on Tuesday night (7.45pm) in the first of five  away games in succession in the Danske Bank Premiership. Crusaders need to get back to winning ways very quickly as they go through a blip and they play a side that currently sit at the foot of the Premiership table and are desperate for any kind of result under their new manager Dean Shiels.

Everyone on Friday night where devastated after the defeat to Linfield but this will be put behind them as they look forward to Tuesday nights game. Stephen Baxter will assess injuries etc before naming his side but Johnny Tuffey in goals may have Chris Hegarty and Billy Joe Burns missing again through injury meaning Rodney Brown could start as a centre half for the second game running. We may see a shuffle in midfield again so anyone who started on Friday may be in line to satrt from the bench and Recce McGinley and David Cushley  could get a run out.  Up front Jprdan Owens or Jamie McGonigle could replace Adam Lecky if he is rested to the bench but as always we will wait and see. Stephen will want a response after some disappointing results and the team will know a win could kick start the season once again as we look to secure a european place.

Dungannon Swifts have not won in 11 games and with new manager Dean Shiels at the helm they are also dealing with a new style of management so times are tough at Stangmore Park at the minute. They will know that when things click they will go on to better things and a result against Crusaders would be that kick so the visitors will be up for that challenge. Crusaders will come against ex Crusaders striker Rory Patterson if selected and they know his potential in changing games, and Michael Carvill as well while Roy Carroll in nets will be hard to beat.  With Ryan Mayse, Shane McGinty and Alan Teggart also in the Swifts side they do have the potential to get a result and they will give it a real go.

Unfortunately no fans are allowed at the game but it will be live on www.247.tv/niprem at a cost of £7.  Buy the game and get behind the lads from the start as we look to get the season going agaim. We are all in this together. C'mon The Crues. Keep The Faith.

19th March 2021

 

Crusaders Lose To Linfield In Tightly Fought Battle

It was yet more defeat and frustration for Crusaders tonight as they where beaten 2-1 by Danske Bank Premiership leaders Linfield at Seaview.

It was another epic battle between the sides who went at each other after a cagey start and  it was Crusaders who struck first when Ross Clarke cut in after 16 minutes and let fly with an unstoppable  curling shot into the inside netting and Crusaders where 1-0 up. Crusaders and Linfield both created more chances as the half continued with neither scoring. The second half Linfield picked up the pace and equalised after Joel Cooper danced into the Crusaders penalty box before out witting two Crusaders defenders finishing his move with a goal that went past Johnny Tuffey low and hard after 54 minutes. Just 12 minutes later Linfield went ahead after an uncharacteristic mistake by Paul Heatley who layed the ball on aplate to Shayne Lavery who made no mistake from eight yards. Crusaders kept at it as did Linfield  but it was Linfield who collected three points and rxtended their lead further at the top.

More To Follow

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18th March 2021

 

Match Preview ; Crusaders v Linfield Danske Bank Premiership

It is Friday night football for Crusaders this week again and we are home to Linfield (7.45pm) in the next round of games in the Danske Bank Premiership. After a  poor defeat last week to Coleraine away Crusaders will look to give a better performance and result in this one while Linfield have pulled slightly ahead at the top of the table and will be pushing for a win to create yet more space.

Crusaders will have moved on from last week and after a positive week in training they will be up for this game. Arguably the better side the last time the sides met at Seaview only to fall to a very late goal from Jimmy Callagher Crusaders will look to that performance as inspiration. We wait too see if Stephen changes the side but Johnny Tuffey could possibly have the same back four in front of him or we could see Jarlath O'Rourke come back into the starting XI and Billy Joe Burns also returning to the squad and available to start. In midfield again changes may be made with Ross Clarke possibly starting after returning last week as a sub  having been injured for quite a while. Robbie Weir could also be moved to midfield in order to give Philip Lowry, Declan Caddell or Ben Kennedy a chance to rest while up front the usual quartet all are fit and look to start. Stephen will send his side out knowing this is possibly the last chance to stay in touch at the very top of the table and will tell his side that nothing more than a win is needed. 

Linfields form has been good of late winning the last four games and they currently lead the Premiership by eight points although Coleraine do have two games in hand.  The man on form and the one to watch is Shane Lavery who is scoring for fun at the minute having got  a hat trick against Carrick Rangers and followed it up with another goal mid week against Dungannon Swifts. Linfield are strong in many positions with Jimmy Callagher solid at the back and captain Jamie Mulgrew the playmaker in midfield. Manager David Healy knows how lucky Linfield where the last time the sides met to get the three points and he knows another hard game is in prospect.

So all set for another heavyweight battle between Crusaders and Linfield. Unfortunately supporters are still not allowed back into Seaview due to restrictions but you can follow the whole game live onn BBC2 NI from 7.30pm. Why not get the red and black on make sure you are watching. C'mon the Crues. Keep The Faith.

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13th March 2021

 

Play Predictor League And Make Crusaders ££££

Have you registered yet for the Prediction League? If not hurry as the first game is on Monday

Remember it helps the Club so get involved

Crusaders FC in partnership with PredictorLeagues.com have launched a new fundraising scheme to raise funds for Crusaders In The Community projects and activities.

ABOUT PREDICTOR LEAGUES

Predictor Leagues is a social football results prediction game where you can get together with your friends, colleagues & members of Crusaders FC and compete against each other to correctly predict the outcome of Football league matches.

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• Click on the www.predictorleagues.com logo below

• Register to the CRUSADERS IN THE COMMUNITY Predictor League

• Pay your £1 weekly game fee

• Make predictions of the outcome ("Home Win"; "Draw" or "Away Win") of the seven up-coming football fixtures selected each week. One point is scored for each correct prediction.

• The player(s) with the best predictions each week wins 50% of the total weekly Game Fee Pot

• 15% of the total weekly Game Fee Pot rolls up into a jackpot each week until a player(s) gets seven out of seven predictions correct, whereupon the jackpot would be paid out to that player(s).

• Crusaders In The Community will get 20% of the total weekly Game Fee Pot to assist with community projects and activities.

• The remaining 15% goes to Predictor Leagues as their admin fee.

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• We have WINNER(S) EVERY WEEK!!!

• Predict all 7 fixtures correctly – you win the JACKPOT BONUS.

PredictorLeagues.com — GAME PLAY EXAMPLE:

1. Assume a game with 100 players in a Predictor League and a weekly Game Fee of £1.00 per player.

2. The total weekly Game Fee Pot is £100 (i.e. £1.00 per week for each of the 100 players).

3. Each week Crusaders In The Community will select seven up-coming football fixtures from the football leagues (e.g. English Premier League, English Championship, Scottish Premier League, etc.) available in the PredictorLeagues.com system.

4. Each week the players in the Crusaders In The Community Predictor League make predictions of the outcome ("Home Win"; "Draw"; "Away Win") of the seven football fixtures selected.

5. The player(s) with the best prediction each week wins £50.00 (50% of the total weekly Game Fee Pot).

6. Each week Crusaders In The Community will be credited with £20.00 (20% of the total weekly Game Fee Pot) to assist with community projects and activities.

7. Each week www.PredictorLeagues.com takes £15.00 (15% of the total weekly Game Fee Pot) as a "platform fee".

8. Each week that the jackpot is not won another £15.00 (15% of the total weekly Game Fee Pot) rolls up into the jackpot.

12th March 2021

 

Crusaders Lose To Coleraine

It was another night of frustration in the Danske Bank Premiership for Crusaders as they went down 2-0 to Coleraine at the Coleraine Showgrounds. The topsy turvy season took another twist when Matthew Shevlin and Aaron Jarvis scored the goals that snt Crusaders to their ninth defeat of the season.

It was likened to a chess match for 40 minutes as both sides practically cancelled each other out with neither keeper seriously challenged. With only a minute left on the first half clock Coleraine broke the deadlock when Matthew Shevlin headed home at the back post after slipping his marker. The second half saw Coleraine take control and they went further ahead on 57 minutes when Aaron Jarvis scored Coleraines second after shooting through a crowd of players and going in. 2-0 up Coleraine stayed dominant and Crusaders could not get through their defence at all and evwn the introductopn of Jordan Owens and Paul Heatley could not make a difference.

On the whistle Coleraine had closed the gap to Linfield at the top while Crusaders where left 9 points adrift of the top.

More To Follow....

11th March 2021

 

Darren Murphy Joins Backroom Staff At Seaview

Crusaders are pleased to announce that Darren Murphy has been added to the backroom staff with immediate effect. Darren took part in his first training session with the Club on Thursday evening after being introduced to the rest of the staff and players ahead of Friday nights game against Coleraine. 

Darren is delighted to have joined the set up at Seaview and told the website when asked how it all came about he replied  "It was through a conversation I had with Stephen. I have obviously known Stephen a long time and I have a lot of respect for him, I played with him at Glenavon and Jeff Spiers also. I know quite a few of the players through my time in the Irish League with the likes of Sean O'Neill who played for me at Dungannon Swifts and Chris Hegarty and Jarlath O'Rourke I also know well from down there. Ben Kennedy is another player I would know well from the Northern Ireland set up so when you speak to Stephen it is quite easy. it wasn't a difficult decision and it wasn't one that didn't take to long to think about. I am delighted to be back and involved in Irish League football and I am delighted to be involved here at Seaview"

When asked what he thought he could bring to the team Darren replied "I hope I can bring some knowledge of the game obviously from a coaching perspective and technical side of the game. I have always enjoyed Irish League football and I am a big fan of it and I just want to come along here and pass on my experiences to the players and learn from Stephen and Jeff and the rest of the coaching staff. That is a big thing for me the learning and development and this is another step in my career and one I am looking forward to"

Stephen is equally delighted with Darren coming on board and told the website " We are really pleased that Darren is here. It was chance conversation that I had with him and he was quite keen to get involved. He brings a wealth of experience in the game, local knowledge of the game, he has managed an Irish League team, he has coached at the very top level with Linfield, he has managed a Northern Ireland Under 19 squad, He knows the game inside out and he will come and he wanted to come here and lend a hand. When people chat around what they can bring to you it is always great to be able to use people like that and draw from their great experience of the game and I think he will bring lots to us. Darren is a really good lad, he is a lad I known for a very long time from my playing days at Glenavon and when you have coached and managed as much as he has in the local game, and he is very technical aware, he will add another element to us"

Stephen added " There is so much more goes on around the game with regards to technical awareness, the game planning all through the week and how you have to look at games on wyscout. Darren is very aware of all that stuff so he brings something to the party and I like people who are full of enthusiasm, full of belief in themselves, what they can do and what they can add and I am really pleased to get him on board"

Welcome to Seaview Darren and we hope you enjoy your time with us. We certainly are excited you are here and look forward to seeing you work with the squad and help develop them even further with the great backroom staff we have at the club already.

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11th March 2021

 

Match Preview ; Coleraine v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership

Games have come thick and fast this week for Crusaders in the Danske Bank Premiership and on Friday we head up to the North Coast to play Coleraine in our third game in six days. Crusaders go into the game on the back of a good 3-1 win over Carrick Rangers on Tuesday night while Coleraine have enjoyed a week between games having won 3-2 away to Dungannon Swifts last Saturday.

Crusaders will go to the Coleraine Showgrounds confident of getting the result they need to get back in the middle of the Premiership race and they will look to the narrow 2-1 defeat they suffered back in January when they where arguably the better team on the day as inspiration. It could be "as you where" with the starting XI but we will wait and see Stephen Baxters decision after he over sees Thursday nights light session. Jarlath O'Rourke could come back in contention for a defensive position should he be passed fit but Michael Ruddy could keep his place after a decent performance topped off with a goal on Tuesday night. Billy Joe Burns is set to miss out after coming off injured last Saturday so Robbie Weir will play in defence again alongside Chris Hegarty and Aidan Wilson, Philip Lowry, Ben Kennedy  and Declan Caddell where exceptional in the centre of midfield against Carrick Rangers and should start again. Paul Heatley came off the bench last time out but we wait too see  if he starts against Coleraine with Jordan Forsythe on the other side of the field. If he does it could be at the expense of Adam Lecky or Jamie McGonigle who both started on Tuesday night with Jordan Owens coming off the bench. A massive game and with planning all completed Stephen Baxter will tell his side the importance of a result and it will then be up to those on the pitch to complete the job.

Coleraine are in fine form at the minute and Oran Kearneys side are unbeaten in fourteen games and will of course want to keep the run going. They where run close on Saturday by Dungannon Swifts before Ben Doherty scored the winner and indeed a draw was nearly the result only for a goal line clearance by Stephen Lowry. Everyone knows the quality of Coleraines squad and Crusaders will have to deal with Eoin Bradley and Curtis Allen up front if either or both are picked to start.  Ben Doherty and Stephen Carson are the midfielders that will need watched while Crusaders will of course be up against Crusaders old boys Howard Beverland and Jamie Glackin also. With "in form"Gareth Deane in the Coleraine net Crusaders strikers will also need to be on top form to get by him.

It has now become the norm unfortunately that supporters cannot attend games under current restrictions but you can watch the game live on the BBC Sport website and also the BBC I Player (7.30pm kick off) and we hope you do. Get the game on and wear your colours with pride in front of the TV, laptop or phone and get behind the lads from the first whistle. We know you are with us in spirit. C'mon the Crues. Keep The Faith.

10th March 2021

 

Refunds For Carrick Game In December Now Available

Now the rearranged Carrick Rangers v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership game has been played behind closed doors due to restrictions Crusaders supporters who had bought tickets for the original game scheduled for Friday 18th December can now claim a refund.

Simply contact the following email address with your order number and payment will be arranged back to you. The email address to contact is tickets@carrickrangers.co.uk

DO NOT FORGET YOUR ORDER NUMBER WHEN EMAILING

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9th March 2021

 

Crusaders Back To Winning Ways Against Carrick Rangers

Crusaders tonight earned a well deserved win over Carrick Rangers in terrible conditions at Loughshore Hotel Arena. A 3-1 win saw Stephen Baxters side move back to third place in the Danske Bank Premiership table behind Coleraine who they play on Friday night.

Driving wind and rain made conditions awful to play in and at times passed where hard to string together. Carrick took the lead on 9 minutes when Daniel Kelly hit a sweet 20 yard shot past Johnny Tuffey but Crusaders reacted quickly and Jamie McGonigle did well to turn the ball home at the back post  to equalise after 12 minutes. Both sides continued to try and play football as the wind and rain kept coming down with Philip Lowry and Adam Lecky the players who adapted and had a great first half.

The second half started well for Crusaders and Chris Hegarty put them ahead on 48 minutes with a powerful header from a corner. Crusaders started to dominate and went 3-1 up after Michael Ruddy made a strong run into the box and scored past Aaron Hogg from a tight angle. Crusaders controlled the game from her e on and ran out winners comfortably.

More To Follow

8th March 2021

 

Match Preview ; Carrick Rangers v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership

Danske Bank Premiership games are coming thick and fast this month and Crusaders make the short journey down to Carrick on Tuesday night to play Carrick Rangers at the Loughshore Hotel Arena (7.45pm)

Crusaders will want to bounce back after defeat to Warrenpoint Town on Saturday while Carrick Rangers will want to erase the 5-0 drubbing they where on the end of on Friday night against Glentoran.

Stephen Baxter may take the opportunity to freshen up the side on Tuesday nightand we could see a few changes to the starting XI. Aidan Wilson may return to partner Chris Hegarty in the centre of defence but Billy Joe Burns could miss after coming off with an injury on Saturday leaving Robbie Weir to continue at right back. Jarlath O'Rourke will make the defensive wall complete  at left back. Midfield may see fresh legs or he could go again go with the same  players as Saturday as they all worked hard but did not get the breaks they deserved. Up front Jordan Owens could lead the line and it Jamie McGonigle and Adam Lecky will wait to see who could play alongside him. A win could see Crusaders reignite the title challenge so three points in a start/stop last few weeks is essential.

Carrick Rangers could also ring the changes after a heavy defeat last time out and Niall Currie will demand his side do a lot better against Crusaders. He will look to the win he had over Crusaders a few weeks ago as inspiration to do it again and he welcomes back Johnny Frazer, who scored two goals at Seaview,  to the squad after missing against his parent club Glentoran on Friday night. Crusaders will also have to be wary of Coalan Loughran who has found the net often this season while ex Crusaders goalkeeper Aaron Hogg whill be out to stop Crusaders getting by him.

So another game without fans due to restrictions but you can buy the game on www.247.tv/niprem for £7.50. We know you would rather be with us and the team want you with us but it cannot happen at the minute so get the colours on and watch in the house and shout and scream away. Hopefully we get the result for you. C'mon the Crues. Keep The Faith.

6th March 2021

 

Dominant Crusaders Lose To Warrenpoint Town

It was another frustrating day at Seaview as Crusaders lost to Warrenpoint Town in a game that they had so much possession and chances in. Crusaders hit the bar, made visiting goalkeeper Andy Coleman work extremely hard and had several chances cleared off the line but goals count and Warrenpoint Town got two in the first half which proved the winner.

Crusaders done everything but score and they where rocked by a smashing volley by Ryan Swan  on 29 minutes to put Warrenpoint Town ahead. It got worse five minutes later when Brandon Doyle pounced on a defensive mistake between Johnny Tuffey and Robbie Weir and he nipped in to touch the ball over Tuffey and it was Warrenpoint Town two up.

More To Follow...

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5th March 2021

 

Match Preview ; Crusaders v Warrenpoint Town Danske Bank Premiership

The race for the Danske Bank Premiership title is hotting up and Crusaders play Warrenpoint Town at Seaview on Saturday (3pm) in the latest offering. Crusaders will go into the game on the back of a 3-0 beating of Larne on Tuesday night while Warrenpoint also had a big 4-1 win over Dungannon Swifts so we could see a high scoring game between them.

Stephen may choose to pick the same side that won on Saturday but he will have Aidan Wilson back for selection at centre half after serving a suspension while Ross Clarke could be a surprise selection is he is passed fit after quite a few weeks injured. If Aidan Wilson does return it will mean Billy Joe Burns returning to his usual position and Robbie Weir may start on the bench if it happens. Jarlath O'Rourke and Chris Hegarty will make up the defence in front Johnny Tuffey. The midfield where exceptional on Tuesday night so we may see Paul Heatley, PhIlip Lowry, Declan Caddell, Ben Kennedy and Jordan Forsythe all start. Up front Adam Lecky is favourite to start after his hat trick against Larne. A win is a must as we look to keep tight on Coleraine and Linfield and with form back to where it should be we will hopefully get the win.

Warrenpoint Town currently sit in ninth place in the Premiership table and form has been patchy. Crusaders though will not take them lightly  and manager Barry Gray will come to Seaview with a plan to overcome the home side. The 4-0 defeat in January will be in his mind but will set up to try and stop Crusaders doing it again. Alan O'Sullivan is Warrenpoint Towns main goal threat and he scored two  on Tuesday night while veteran keeper Andy Coleman will be out to stop Crusaders scoring again.

With current COVID restrictions all games are being played behind closed doors but at least you can watch the game on our live stream from CruesTV in conjunction with www.247.tv and our co commentator this week is ex Crusaders  star Stephen Livingstone who played in our League winning side in the 90's.

If you are a full member with a current season ticket you will automatically be registered for the coverage of the game on the 247 website. Everyone else can still view the game if they wish by simply buying the game for £!0.  Coverage starts at 2.30pm and we will have interviews and other pre game entertainment ahead of kick off at 3pm.

C'mon the Crues. Keep The Faith.

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4th March 2021

 

February 200 Club Winners

The Febuary draw has been made for the 200 Club and again we are pleased to announce six lucky winners. Unfortunately due to the pandemic we are going through currently the prize money has been down because we cannot see you at games but we hope to relaunch and get back to bigger prizes when we are allowed.

Thank you for your support in the meantime and we hope the winners enjoy spending their money.

There where 105 members numbers in the computerised draw  meaning the Club will be £500 richer and members will share £525 as follows

1st Prize   Bryan Collins         No. 188    £262.50

2nd Prize  Raymond Millar   No. 113    £131.25

3rd Prize   John Quinn            No.  189   £52.50

4th Prize   Greg Braniff          No.  130   £26.25

5th Prize    Sam McDowell    No.  055  £26.25 

6th Prize    Nikki Chilton         No. 056   £26.25

Thanks again and if you wish to contribute please get in touch with the club to set up a bank transfer and be in the draw.

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2nd March 2021

 

Adam Lecky Bags A Hat Trick As Crusaders Crush Larne

It was a night to remember for Adam Lecky who scored his first hat trick for Crusaders in a 3-0 demolition of Larne at Inver Park. Crusaders where dominant from start to finish and along with the three goals they also hit the post twice and the bar once, Critics will look at the sending off of Fuad Sule on 30 minutes for bizarrely attempting to head butt Declan Caddell as a turning point but the truth is Larne offered little in the game.

Adam Lecky was the man on form and his 22 minute hat trick started on 56 minutes when his header was well saved by Conor Devlin but he reacted fastest and smashed the ball home with his foot. On 69 minutes he got his second when a good Crusaders move ended with Paul Haetley passing to Adam Lecky and he cooly put the ball past Conor Devlin for the second time. On 76 minutes he had his hat trick.  Again it was that man Paul Heatley who did the hard work on the wing and his perfect low cross was met by the big striker as he slid in at the back post and the headlines belonged to him.

More To Follow....

1st March 2021

 

Match Preview; Larne v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership

In a busy month for Crusaders they start by heading  down to the start of the Causeway Coastal run to play Larne on Tuesday night (7.45pm) Crusaders will want to get back to winning ways after a late defeat to Glenavon Saturday while Larne will look to do the same after a 2-0 defeat to Linfield on Friday night. 

Crusaders will be hurting from another late goal that saw them beaten on Saturday and the only way to get that feeling away is a win. There will be a rejig of the defence as Aidan Wilson serves a suspension after getting sent off against Glenavon and we could see Daniel Larmouror Rodney Brown filling in the central defensive position alongside Chris Hegarty. Billy Joe Burns and Jarlath O'Rourke should play in front of Johnny Tuffey. Declan Caddell and Ben Kennedy could return to the starting line up after coming on as subs on Saturday and it may mean Reece McGinley,  Jordan Forsythe or Robbie Weir dropping to the subs role but we will not know until the teams are announced. Jamie McGonigle, Adam Lecky and Jordan Owens again battle it out to start with the message that goals are needed. 

Larne have stumbled slightly in recent weeks as they look to challenge at the top and manager Tiernan Lynch will want an instant response to their latest defeat. He will look to the two wins Larne have had over Crusaders at Inver Park this season already but will know every game is different and a new plan plotted. Crusaders will come up against a host of ex players such as Andy Mitchell, Marty Donnelly, Ronan Hale and Josh Robinson should they be picked and will know what they are capable of.  Up front Davy McDaid and Johnny McMurray are athreat while Fuad Sule and  John Herron in midfield are a handful at the best of times. 

Unfortunately no fans are allowed at the game but it will be live on www.247.tv/niprem at a cost of £7.50 .  Buy the game and get behind the lads from the start as we look to kick start the remainder of the season and get right back in the mix as the Danske Bank Premiership hots up. We are all in this together. C'mon The Crues. Keep The Faith.

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28th February 2021

 

March Fixtures

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A busy month awaits Crusaders as we enter March with six away games and only two at home in the Danske Bank Premiership.

We are on the BBC twice, one on BBC Sport website and IPlayer (12th) and the other on BBC2 (19th). The rest of the games can be viewed via www.247.tv/niprem.

We hope that you can follow us through the month via your TV, laptop or mobile device as we look to get a run going and be in contention as the season finale starts to close.

Your support in grounds around the country this season has been missed dearly but we know that you are supporting us from near and far in your homes and are still behind us which we truly thank you for

C'mon the Crues. Keep The Faith.

27th February 2021

 

Late Goal Sinks Crusaders At Seaview

The curse of the late goal hit Crusaders again today at Seaview as Conor McCloskey struck from 20 yards in the 90th minute for Glenavon to heap more pain on the home side.

The game as a whole was pretty unspectacular with the highlights of the first half being a well timed tackle by Andrew Doyle to deny Paul Heatley a chance on goal and Danny Purkis fluffing his shot when well placed in front of goal. 

Seconds into the second half Crusaders where reduced to 10 men when Aidan Wilson was sent off for a second bookable offence and from then on Crusaders where up against it but fought superbly. They thought they had held out until the cruel blow in the last minute and on the whistle they had been beaten and had dropped to fifth in the table.

More To Follow....

26th February 2021

 

Match Preview; Crusaders v Glenavon Danske Bank Premiership

Next up for Crusaders is the visit of Glenavon to Seaview as the Danske Bank Premiership hots up. This game is traditionally a hot blooded tie and with Crusaders getting back to winning ways last Saturday and Glenavon on a decent run it again should be another game that will show the Premiership at its best.

Crusaders have had another good week training and with the prep all done Stephen Baxter will give last minute instructions and send his side into battle. Johnny Tuffey in goals will meet his his old team mates for the first time since his transfer on the last day of January window whiLE Daniel Larmour will wait too see if he gets to play against his old team mates also after getting 45 minutes last week against Ballymena United. Jarlath O'Rourke and Billy Joe Burns will start but it is a straight choice of Aidan Wilson, Chris Hegarty and Daniel Larmour who plays in the centre of defence. Midfield is as always hotly contested and Jordan Forsythe comes back into contention after serving a suspension but he may have to be happy with a spot on the bench as the midfield of Paul Heatley, Declan Caddell, Philip Lowry and Robbie Weir did well  last Saturday. Up front our strikers are all fit and ready to so Jordan Owens, Jamie McGonigle. Adam Lecky and David Cushley will look for the nod. 

Glenavon are unbeaten in four games and Gary Hamilton brings his side to Seaview full of confidence. Glenavon now have Crusaders legends Colin Coates and Sean Ward in their ranks and they will certainly be out to give it their all should they be picked. Another ex Crusaders legend Matthew Snoddy cannot play under the terms of his loan deal.

With current COVID restrictions all games will be played behind closed doors but at least you can watch the game on our live stream from CruesTV in conjunction with www.247.tv and our co commentator this week is fans favourite Richard Clarke who enjoyed a great spell at the club.

If you are a full member with a current season ticket you will automatically be registered for the coverage of the game on the 247 website. Everyone else can still view the game if they wish by simply buying the game for £!0. We have a pre match chat with Stephen Baxter and a pre recorded Q&A with Aidan Wilson and Chris Hegarty. Coverage starts at 2.30pm

C'mon the Crues. Keep The Faith.

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22nd February 2021

 

Two Games Rearranged For BBC Coverage

It has been announced that two Crusaders games have been rearranged so BBC Sport NI can cover the match.

Coleraine v Crusaders originally scheduled for Saturday 17th April has been pulled forward to Friday 12th March (7.30pm) and Crusaders v Linfield originally scheduled for Saturday 20th March has been moved to Friday 19th March (7.45pm)

19th February 2021

 

Ballymena United v Crusaders Postponed

Tonights Danske Bank Premiership game between Ballymena United and Crusaders has been postponed due to a waterlogged pitch. A new date for the game to be played will be announced in due course.

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20th February 2021

 

Paul Heatley Magic Earns Crusaders A Big Win

Crusaders got back to winning ways today when they defeated Ballymena United 2-1 at a wet and windy Seaview today. In a game not for the purist a 46th minute goal from Paul Heatley made the difference and kept Crusaders in the hunt.

In a first half ruined by the weather Ballymena United took the lead when Joe McCready scored wafter the ball somehow managed to reach him but he made no mistake and put the away side ahead. Ballymena United peppered Johnny Tuffeys goal with the wind behind them but couldn't get a second and Crusaders persistence was rewarded on 42 minutes when Jamie McCgonigle got the equaliser with a goal that started off as a cross but curled into the net with wind assistance leaving it 1-1 at the break. 

The second half was a minute old when Crusaders got what turned out to be the winner when Paul Heatley set his own overhead kick up to score and it was 2-1. The weather settled and both sides had chances but nothing was converted with Crusaders winning 2-1 as the final whistle blew.

Full Report To Follow....

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19th February 2021

 

Ballymena United v Crusaders Rearranged For Saturday At Seaview

Tonights postponed game between Ballymena United and Crusaders has been rearranged for tomorrow at 3pm Seaview.

Thanks to everyone who has made this possible at short notice.

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18th February 2021

 

Match Preview ; Ballymena United v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership

IFriday Night football this week for Crusaders as we head to the Ballymena Showgrounds to play Ballymena United in the latest game of  the Danske Bank Premiership. Both sides will have someting to aim for as both where beaten last time out so it should be a great battle as it always between two competitive sides.

Stephen Baxter may look to freshen the side up and it could mean a full debut for Daniel Larmour should Aidan Wilson or Chris Hegarty be rested to the bench. Jarlath O'Rourke and Billy Joe Burns and Jarlath O'Rourke will complete the back four in front of Johnny Tuffey. Jordan Forsythe is unavailable in midfield after being sent off near the end of the Carrick Rangers game on Saturday so Robbie Weir may get the chance to start alongside Declan Caddell, Ben Kennedy and Paul Heatley while we wait to see if Jordan Owens starts on the bench again with Adam Lecky and Jamie McGonigle leading the line.  It's a big game as far as staying in touch with the top of the table for Crusaders so little motivation will be needed come kick off.

Ballymena United will be hurting after a Derby defeat midweek to Coleraine and David Jeffrey will want to bite back immediately. He will be without goalkeeper Jordan Williamson after he was sent off on Tuesday but Ross Glendinning is ready to take over.  Crusaders will of course come up against Paul McElroy who moved to Ballymena with Adam Lecky coming the other way. Crusaders will know Tony Kane, Jim Ervin and Ross Redman will be out to stop them while up front for Ballymena United Shane McCartan and Andy McGrory will be the main threat.

As has been the case for quite a while no fans are allowed into the game but you can watch on the BBC SportNI website and the BBC IPplayer and the gamne has a 7.30pm kick off. We know you would rather be with us and the players also want you with us but the second best place is front of the TV or laptop so make sure you are there shouting and supporting us through the 90 minutes.

Keep The Faith. C'mon the Crues

18th February 2021

 

New Stand Given Green Light

Crusaders  Football Club where delighted to hear this morning that the new stand which has been in the pipeline for a few years has been approved by the Planning Department of Belfast City Council. The new stand will be built where the South Stand is currently and will run along the length of the pitch from the Shore Road and will cover the front of the McDonald Centre which will be incorporated into the new structure.

It is fantasic news and a massive congratulations to everyone who was involved to make it happen.

Onwards and Upwards to the next level.

14th February 2021

 

Condolences To Ephy McConnell

It was with great sadness everyone at Crusaders FC learnt of the passing of photographer Ephy McConnells mother yesterday. Chairman Ronnie Millar would like offer the deepest condolences of the club to Ephy and his family at this sad and difficult time and asks we keep them all in our thoughts and prayers over the coming days and weeks.

At Rest

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13th February 2021

 

Off Key Crusaders Lose To Carrick Rangers

It was bad day at the office for Crusaders when they lost 3-1 to Carrick Rangers who where fully deserved of all three points in the Danske Bank Premiership game played at Seaview today. A massive effort by a team of volunteers got the game on but unfortunately the result went the wrong way.

Johnny Frazer was the thorn in Crusaders side when he scored a double, one in each half, after splitting the Crusaders defence to score on both occasions and despite Philip Lowry pulling a goal back it was Carrick Rangers who had the final say when Caolan Loughran scored from the penalty spot after Jordan Forsythe was sent off for a foul in the box with a few minutes left.

More To Follow...

12th February 2021

 

Match Preview ; Crusaders v Carrick Rangers Danske Bank Premiership

It is back to a 3pm kick off on Saturday for Crusaders and the visitors to Seaview are Carrick Rangers. Crusaders are itching to get back into action afterlast weeks late defeat by Linfield and Tuesday nights postponement against Dungannon Swifts while Carrick will want to build on Tuesday nights draw against Linfield in a game they could have won late on.

Crusaders could possibly field an unchanged team for this game and we wait and see if Stephan Baxter makes that call or indeed freshens up the starting eleven with a few changes. Johnny Tuffey will be in nets as both Sean O'Neill and Gerard Doherty recover from injury. Billy Joe Burns. Aidan Wilson, Chris Hegarty and Jarlath O'Rourke should start again but there are ready replacements in Michael Ruddy, Robbie Weir and Daniel Larmour should they be chosen to start or needed during the game. In midfield Paul Heatley, Philip Lowry, Ben Kennedy, Jordan Fosythe and Declan Caddell all played superbly last week and if all report fit they should be picked again. Adam Lecky led the line last week but Jamie McGonigle could possibly start against Carrick Rangers with David Cushley as back up while Jordan Owens could be kept on the bench again as his dead leg heals further.  Results went Crusaders way  during the week and with that boost the team will be up to win this one.

Carrick Rangers based on Tuesdays nights performance showed they can mix it with the top end of the Danske Bank Premiership table and Niall Curries side will be full of confdence heading into this game. Caarrick Rangers have a group of seasoned professionals who could cause Crusaders trouble and ex Crusaders goalkeeper Aaron Hogg in nets is one of them.  Mark Surgeoner and Cathar Friel are another two players who have played many times against Crusaders before and could prove a handful. Lloyd Anderson, another ex Crusaders player,   could have won it for his side late on against Linfield and will again be out to prove he has become a better player since leaving Crusaders and that again could be a problem for Crusaders defence.

With current COVID restrictions all games will be played behind closed doors for the forseeable future

We know it is tough both for supporters and players but at least you can watch the game on our live stream from CruesTV in conjunction with www.247.tv and our co commentator this week is Nathan Hanley. who played for both clubs and is now Head of Youth Development at Crusaders.

If you are a full member with a current season ticket you will automatically be registered for the coverage of the game on the 247 website. Everyone else can still view the game if they wish by simply buying the game for £!0.

Still feel involved and the players will also know you are watching. 

C'mon the Crues. Keep The Faith.

9th February 2021

 

Tonights Game Called Off

Tonights Danske Premiership game between Dungannon Swifts and Crusaders due to be played at Stangmore Park has been postponed after a pitch inspection at 4pm.

No new date has been announced as yet,

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8th February 2021

 

Match Preview ; Dungannon Swifts v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership

Crusaders are on their travels on Tuesday night and they go down to the end of the M1 to Stangmore Park to play Dungannon Swifts as the Danske Bank Premiership continues. Crusaders will want to erase a last minute defeat to Linfield on Saturday evening while Dunngannon Swifts will want to try and move off the relegation trap door that they currently are near.

Stephen Baxter will get his side back on track and if they play as well as they did on Saturday hopefully the win will come. The squad will be assessed for injuries or fatique before the starting eleven are named so it really is a case of wait and see when the team is announced at 6.30pm.

Stephen may decide to give Daniel Larmour his first competitive start should Aidan Wilson or Chris Hegarty does not make it and we may see Michael Ruddy get a chance to start if Jarlath O'Rourke is rested. Midfield has played superbly these last few games but again we may see Robbie Weir get a start and possibly Ross Clarke back on the bench if passed fit after recovering from injury. David Cushley could be in line for a rare start and Jordan Owens could be rested again as he recovers from a dead leg even though he did play the last 15 minutes of Saturday nights game as he battled through. Jamie McGonigle and Adam Lecky will fight it out for a start. No one could argue with the work ethic the lads had against Linfield and the message will be same again.

Dungannon Swifts have won only once in their last five games and manager Kris Lindsay will want to address the slump and get back to winning ways. They have only won three times so far this season leaving them 10th in the table but they have made an outstanding signing in the form of goalkeeper Roy Carroll and it is hoped he will help get them back up the table with match winning performances. They have also recently signed ex Crusaders striker Rory Patterson fot the other end of the pitch and he will have a point to prove against his old side.  Alan Teggart, Mark Patton and Dylan King will also need watched as the Swifts look to cause an upset.

So another game without fans due to restrictions but you can buy the game on www.247.tv/niprem for £7. We know you would rather be with us and the team want you with us but it cannot happen at the minute so get the colours on and watch in the house and shout and scream anyway. Hopefully we get the result for you. C'mon the Crues. Keep The Faith.

6th February 2021

 

Last Gasp Goal Beats Crusaders

A goal from Jimmy Callacher with just 63 seconds left of time added on saw Linfield "smash and grab" and leave Seaview with three points they did not deserve. 

Crusaders where the better side in large parts of the game and saw Chris Johns in the Linfield goal in top form when he saved well on several occasions keeping Linfield in the game. When the ball did get past Johns it was Linfield defenders who kept the ball out with goal line clearances. Linfield scored against the run of play with a freak goal when Niall Quinns corner when straight into the net after 71 minutes but Philip Lowry got an equaliser with two minutes left when he got the ball over the line from a Crusaders corner. It was heading for a draw when Jommy Callacher popped up at the backpost to steal the game.

More To Follow

2nd February 2021

 

Crusaders Beat Glentoran At Seaview

Crusaders tonight defeated Glentoran 1-0 thanks to an early goal from Jordan Owens trusty head. The game was only six minutes old when Jordan Owens scored from six yards out with little resistance from a Paul Heatley corner. 

The game was not spectacular by any means and the weather conditions at times did not help as both sides defences had the upper hand. Johnny Tuffey making hisdebut for Crusaders  had very little to do all game and this was largely down to a great display of defensive football especially in the second half.

More To Follow

6th February 2021

 

Match Preview ; Crusaders v Linfield Danske Bank Premiership

The games come thick and fast for Crusaders and Saturday evening is no didfferent. Linfield come to Seaview to play in front of BBC Sport Online cameras with a 5.30pm kick off and with third playing first it is bound to be a cracker. Crusaders got back to winning ways on Tuesday night with a victory over Glentoran while Linfield warmed up with a 3-0 win over Portadown.

Crusaders will wait on fitness reports before naming the elevn to start against Linfield. Johnny Tuffey will make make his second apperance for Crusaders since signing last Sunday and the back the four of Billy Joe Burns, Aidan Wilson, Chris Hegarty and Jarlath O'Rourke who played so well on Tuesday should also start again as long as they report fit. 

In midfield Stephen may put fresh legs on so Robbie Weir may get a chance but again the form shown by everyone against Glentoran could also see this unchanged. It is well documented that Jordan Owens could be sidelined for a few weeks with a dead leg so Jamie McGonigle and Adam Lecky could team up front and are both eager to get on from the start. Stephen will know how important a win on Saturday evening will be it will bring Crusaders right back in the mix as we rack the games up. The lads have trained well and all prep will be finished so kick off cannot come quick enough.

Linfield sit at the top of the Danske Bank Premiership but they also know it means nothing at this stage of the season. David Healy strengthened his squad over the latest transfer window and Crusaders will know that Joel Cooper will be the main threat should he play. They have big winners all the pitch but Crusaders will match the likes of Jimmy Callagher, Andy Waterworth and Kirk Millar with commitment and Linfield will have to work out what they can do to combat that. Shane Lavery is in good form at the minute and picked up a hat trick  against Portadown on Tuesday  night so he wil need to marked tightly.

Saturdays game is another without fans due to restrictions but you can watch the game live on BBC Sport Online and remember it starts at 5.30pm. The lads as always miss your support from the stands but they know you are with them in front of your TV and will give it everything for the win. Make sure you are watching and cheering the team to a win.   C'mon the Crues. Keep The Faith.

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1st February  2021

 

Match Preview ; Crusaders v Glentoran Danske Bank Premiership

There is no rest for Crusaders as we enter a new month and next is Glentoran who visit Seaview in the latest game in the Danske Bank Premiership on Tuesday night (7.45pm) Crusaders will be hurting from a late goal defeat on Saturday at Coleraine  and only a win will get them back on track while Glentoran earned a draw against Larne on Friday night and be pushing on from there.

Crusaders will have new signing Johnny Tuffey in nets as both Sean O'Neill and Gerard Doherty are long term injuries. The back four should remain in place unless injury forces Stephen into a change here also with our other new signing Daniel Larmour eager to play if called on but he may have to wait his chance again. Midfield positions could be tweaked and Ben Kennedy could get the nod after coming on from the bench on Saturday with Robbie Weir also available. Ross Clarke continues his recovery from injury and could be a surprise inclusion if passed fit but Jordan Forsythe, Philip Lowry, Declan Caddell and Paul Heatley are all in good form and could be picked again. Stephen will check on Adam Leckys head injury befor deciding he should play but Jamie McGonigle will want to add to his goal tally while Jordan Owens will also be ready. Two draws and a defeat last week will have hurt the squad and back to winning ways and three points is a must.

Glentoran have also been busy in the transfer market and will possibly put new signing Conor McMenamin straight in on Tuesday night against Crusaders. Glentorans season has not be great so far given the squad they have and manager Mick McDermott will want to move up the table from the seventh position they are currently in. Beaten 2-0 at Seaview back in December will still be a recent memory but they have dangerous players across the park that will keep Crusaders busy. 

With current COVID restrictions all games will be played behind closed doors for the forseeable future

We know it is tough both for supporters and players but at least you can watch the game on our live stream from CruesTV in conjunction with www.247.tv.

If you are a full member with a current season ticket you will automatically be registered for the coverage of the game on the 247 website. Everyone else can still view the game if they wish by simply buying the game for £!0.

Still feel involved and the players will also know you are watching. 

C'mon the Crues. Keep The Faith.

30th January 2021

 

Crusaders Lose To Late Goal At Coleraine

Crusaders where denied a share of the points today against Coleraine in the Danske Bank Premiership when a late Stephen Lowry header from a free kick in the 88th minute gave the home sides maximum points and Crusaders heading home with nothing. ​

It was Crusaders who drew first blood when Jamie McGonigle controlled his shot well to put the ball into the net after Coleraine had failed to clear.  The lead didn't last long when on 31 minutes Curtis Allen equalised for Coleraine after Crusaders defence failed to clear.  Both sides traded chances but it remained 1-1 at half time. 

The second half both sides opened the game up with Crusaders edging the play but they couldn't make the breakthrough. It was Crusaders who went the closest also when Jordan Forsythe forced a good save from Gareth Deane. As the matched headed for a draw Crusaders gave away a  free kick outside the box from which Stephen Lowry managed to get his head to the ball and the winning goal was scored. 

With little time to react the game ended and Crusaders left empty handed handed.

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31st January 2021

 

Crusaders Sign JohnathanTuffey on Three and a Half Year Deal

Crusaders are pleased to announce the signing of goalkeeperJohnathan Tuffey from Glenavon. The 34 year old shot stopper has played in the Premiership since 2013 with Linfield and Glenavon and moves to Seaview on a three and a half year deal.

Johnny is an experienced keeper at all levels and enjoyed a great career in Scotland and also earned eight International caps for Northern Ireland. he brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the squad and his professional approach to the game will fit perfectly into the mindset of the current squad.

Johnny is delighted to have signed for Crusaders and spoke to the crusadersfc.com just a few minutes after signing and said " I am obviously delighted to join Crusaders. It all happened very late last night when I received a call to say a deal had been agreed between the two clubs and after thrashing out personal terms today and got it done and dusted so I am here, i've signed and I am ready to join the group and give my best to Crusaders now.

Johnny added " I would like to place on record my thanks to Gary Hamilton and Glenavon for everything over the last 6 years that I have been there but it's time to look forward and fully commit to this wonderful club in the years ahead"

Stephen is equally delighted and has told the website "It is a real coup for the club to bring a goalkeeper of Johnnys outstanding qualities here. He is an International goalkeeper, played professional football in Scotland, a long Irish League career behind him so a very experienced goalkeeper. Obviously we have picked up two fairly serious injuries to our own goalkeepers so we have to move quickly so I would like to thank the board for making that happen as quickly as it did because we are coming into a very inportant run of games in the next few weeks"

Welcome to Seaview Johnny. We hope it is a trophy and medal winning stay.

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29th January 2021

 

Match Preview; Coleraine v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership

The games come thick and fast for Crusaders in the Danske Bank Premiership as they travel to Coleraine for the next game on Saturday. Crusaders have drawn their two games since returning to action after the forced close and will be eager to get three points while Coleraine will be buoyed by a 2-1 win over Larne at Inver Park on Tuesday night.

With so many games being played over a short period of time Stephen Baxter may decide to tweak his starting line up. Gerard Doherty should stay in goals but Jarlath O'Rourke and Billy Joe Burns could return after missing Tuesday game with slight knocks. New signing Daniel Larmour is also available but may have to make do with a place on the bench with Aidan Wilson and Chris Hegarty both in good form. Midfield is as always  a hard call but with many in great form Stephen will have it tough to decide. Up front Jordan Owens, Jamie McGonigle and Adam Lecky are all shoulder to shoulder for a call to start and we wait too see who gets that shout. As always those who are on the bench will want to start and they will certainly be ready if and when called on. Three points is a requirement from this game and it would put Crusaders within a point of Linfield at the top with their game postponed.

Coleraine came away on Tuesday night from Larne with a good win and Oran Kearney will want to build on that and move up the table and close the gap on those above him in the top three. It is five wins now on the bounce for the home side  nad Crusaders will know it will be a different side they faced when they beat them 1-0 at Seaview back in November last year.  Coleraine have talent all the pitch and the danger men to watch will be Ben Doherty, Stephen Lowry, and Josh Carson while up front Eoin Bradley and James McLoughlin are the scoring threats. 

Saturdays game is another without fans due to restrictions but you can buy the game on www.247.tv/niprem for £7. The lads miss your support from the sidelines but they now thay can still count on your support even from your house watching the game on TV. Buy the game and get behind your team and hopefully by 4.50pm you will be happy with the result.  C'mon the Crues. Keep The Faith.

26 January 2021

 

Late Goal Goes Against Crusaders As They Draw At Shamrock Park

Crusaders tonight where on the wrong end of a late goal as Portadown scored in the 89th minute to earn a 2-2 draw and a share of the spoils. 

An upbeat performance by the home side caused Crusaders some moments of concern before Declan Caddell opened the scoringwhen he finished off a good move on 25 minutes. The game ebbed back and forward with both sides creating chances and it was Portadown who scored minutes before half time when Adam McCallum poked the ball home after Crusaders defence had failed to clear leaving it 1-1 at half time.

Both sides went at it again as the second half began and Paul Heatley put Crusaders ahead again on 50 minutes when he scored a good goal on the counter attack finishing another good move. Chance after chance created by both sides went by with Gerard Doherty keeping Crusaders in it on several occasions. Crusaders couldn't hold out though as the whistle was near and Portadown captain Lee Bonis was the man on hand to get his foot to the ball and stab it home with a minute left and with it a share of the points when the whistle finally sounded.

Full Report To Follow

28th January 2021

 

Daniel Larmour Signs For Crusaders

Crusaders are pleased to announce the signing of Daniel Larmour from Glenavon.  The 22 year old defender has signed a three and a half year deal and met his new team mates this evening after putting pen to paper.

Daniel has played for Carrick Rangers as well as Glenavon in his Premiership career to date and follows in his fathers footsteps who also wore the Red and Black shirt during his Irsih League career.

Daniel is over the moon to sign and said "I am just delighted to get the deal done. When I knew Crusaders where interested I just couldn't wait to get down and see around the place and meet everyone. I am looking forward to playing now and getting started.  Crusaders have a great squad and I know I will have to get settled in and work hard and show what I can do in training and hopefully when I get my chance I can take it"

Stephen Baxter is equally delighted and after seeing Daniel put pen to paper told the Crusaders website "I am so glad we have got a young player who can really go on and make a big career for himself and become a legend of this football club. The sky is the limit for him and he is a super player. We have watched him for a good number of years and we know his quality and ability and we hope he can do very well".

Welcome to Crusaders Daniel and have a great time playing for this great club and collecting medals of the way.

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25th January 2021

 

Match Preview ; Portadown v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership

Crusaders are straight back into action on Tuesday night after Saturdays 3-3 thriller with Larne when they travel to Portadown to play their next game in the Danske Bank Premiership. Crusaders will look to keep the pressure on Linfield at the top of the table with a win while Portadown will be wanting to push away from the relegation zone they have been sucked into.

Stephen Baxter will assess the squad ahead of the game and may rest a few or indeed be forced into a change should a player report injury. Gerard Doherty should keep his place again while the back four may also be retained unless Stephen decides to bring fresh legs after Saturdays tough encounter. We could see a shake up in midfield witrh Ben Kennedy and Robbie Weir starting giving a few who have played lately a rest while Jordan Owens could start for the first time in a few weeks with Adam Lecky or Jamie McGonigle dropping to the bench.

Crusaders will look to the 5-0 win against Portadown at Seaview last month as inspiration for this one and hope for something similar again.

Portadown have only played once this year so far in a 2-1 defeat by Glentoran and Matthew Tipton will be keen to get his side back on the pitch. Portadown may lack match sharpness but they will make up for that in fighting spirit giving Crusaders food for thought.  Portadown have bought wisely and recently brought in Ben Tinley from Larne who knows a bit about winning. Paddy McNally, Stephen Murray and Adam Salley are also key players Crusaders will have to watch if they play.  It has been a tough introduction to the Premiership for many reasons for Portadown but they will still be a threat come 7.45pm on Tuesday.

So another game without fans due to restrictions but you can buy the game on www.247.tv/niprem for £7. We know you would rather be with us and the team want you with us but it cannot happen at the minute so get the colours on and watch in the house and shout and scream anyway. Hopefully we get the result for you. C'mon the Crues. Keep The Faith.

23rd January 2021

 

Crusaders & Larne Share Points In Six Goal Thriller

It was a thriller today at Seaview in front of the Sky Sports cameras as they drew with Larne 3-3 in the Danske Bank Premiership. In a game that would have pleased the neutral Crusaders came from 2-0 down and 3-2 down to get  apoint which leaves them still third in the table.

The first half was a tough affair with no quarter given but it was Larne who went ahead after 19 minutes when Ronan Hale scored from 30 yards after his shot curled away from Gerard Doherty. It got worse on 34 minutes when Ronan Hale scored again heading home unmarked from a yard out after Gerard Doherty had made a good save from a Marty Donnelly free kick. Crusaders did get a lifeline on 39 minutes when Jamie McGonigle scored from 18 yards with a beautifil and well taken goal leaving it 2-1 to the visitors at half time. 

The entertainment continued after the break as both sides went toe to toe but Crusaders had to wait until the 73rd minute to equalise when Chris Hegarty headed home from close range after Conor Devlin had touched Philip Lowrys header on to the bar. Larne reacted and went ahead again on 80 minutes when Jonny McMurray scored after somehow squeezing the ball into the Crusaders net. With 2 minutes remaining Crusaders where awarded a penalty after Jarvis handled in the box and it was left to Ben Kennedy to calmly slot the ball home to make it 3-3 and the points shared.

Full Report To Follow.

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22nd January 2021

 

Match Preview ; Crusaders v Larne Danske Bank Premiership

Danske Bank Premiership football is back at Seaview after a two week break due to COVID regulations and Crusaders get straight back into action when they play Larne in front of the Sky Sports cameras with a kick off time of 12.30pm. It is also 3rd v 2nd and the chance for the winner to close in on leaders Linfield before they kick off later in the day. Crusaders will be looking a win after a late goal secured a draw in the North Belfast Derby last time out while Larne will look to get back to winning ways after defeat by Ballymena Utd on the first Saturday of 2021.

Crusaders have enjoyed a good weeks training and a ready to go again. The nforced lay off gave some of the squad time to recover from injury and some could be availabe again for selection. Gerard Doherty should keep his spot in nets while Billy Joe Burns could move back into his natural position if Aidan Wilson is passed fit or Rodney Brown is slotted in beside Chris Hegarty with Jarlath O'Rourke the last piece in defence. Midfield may considt of Philip Lowry, Paul Heatley, Declan Caddell and Jordan Forsythe but again this couldbe tweaked with Robbie Weir, David Cushley and Ben Kennedy all ready to take a place if called on. Up front we could the return of Jordan Owens to the starting line up with Jamie McGonigle and Addam Lecky looking to join him. Stephen Baxter will let his side know the importance of the win and with all the prep done it is time to deliver.

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So all set for what should be a decent game in front of a european audience. Unfortunately once again due to restrictions supporters will not be allowed into Seaview and the lads do miss your support from the stands. They do know though you will be watching at home and showing your support from there so get the colours on and shout at the screen. Remember it is on Sky Sports and kick off is 12.30pm. Cmon the Crues. Keep The Faith.

9th January 2021

 

Honours Even As Crusaders Snatch Late Equaliser In Derby

It was a late late late show from Crusaders today as Ben Kennedy scored with just 24  seconds left of added time to earn Crusaders a 2-2 draw against Cliftonville at Solitude in the North Belfast Derby.

Played behind closed doors due to COVID restrictions it was an eerie atmosphere but Crusaders got off to a good start when Jamie McGonigle scored a penalty after Paul Heatley had been fouled. Crusaders where in control for large parts of the game and could have gone ahead even further but Paul Heatley and Jamie McGonigle where unlucky. Cliftonville came into the half the last ten minutes and scored an equaliser just before half time when Rory Hale scored despite the best efforts of Rodney Brown on the line.

The game was poised at 1-1 going into the second half but Cliftonville edged in front when Chris Hegarty unfortunately sliced into his own net and it was 2-1 to the home side. Both sides traded blows but neither could score again until injury time when Ben Kennedy popped up with seconds to spare to grab the equaliser and a point for Crusaders at the whistle.

Full Report To Follow...

18th January 2021

 

Crusaders Live on Sky Sports Against Larne This Saturday

After the enforced break due to COVID 19 Crusaders get back into action this Saturday and it's live on TV throughout Europe.

Our opponents and visitors to Seaview on Saturday are Larne who are enjoying an unbelievable first season back in the top flight and they sit second in the table with Crusaders just a point behind so it is all set to a smashing game and the chance to close in tight behind Linfield before they kick off later.

Sky Sports are covering the game and kick off is early on Saturday at 12.30pm. Supporters will not be allowed into the game unfortunately but make sure you tune in and get behind the lads at least in spirit.

C'mon the Crues

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14th January 2021

 

NIFL & IFA To Provide Premiership Club Testing

The NI Football League and the Irish FA have announced the roll out of Covid-19 tests for Danske Bank Premiership clubs.

Provision of the Covid-19 test kits to clubs has been sourced and funded in a joint venture by the NI Football League and the Irish FA to ensure a safe return to play for all match participants.

NI Football League Interim Manging Director Steven Mills, said:

“We are delighted to announce the introduction of testing to reaffirm our commitment to the welfare of our players, coaches and match officials.

“We have considered what other leagues have introduced and we will be using the same company and test as the EFL clubs in England.

“Coupled with the robust protocols the Premiership clubs have successfully implemented to date, we can look forward to the remainder of the campaign with renewed comfort and excitement.”

Irish FA Chief Executive, Patrick Nelson, said:

“Through working collaboratively with NIFL we continue to respond to the pandemic to ensure football in Northern Ireland is supported and protected.”

The tests will be available to clubs and match officials ahead of the Danske Bank Premiership’s next round of fixtures on Saturday 23 January.

Testing will take place for an initial rolling period of four weeks as clubs return to training and reviewed after three weeks by the NI Football League.

8th January 2021

 

Match Preview ; Cliftonville v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership

 

It's North Belfast Derby Day on Saturday as Crusaders make the short trip to Solitude to play rivals Cliftonville in the Danske Bank Premiership game postponed from Boxing Day. It will also have a different feel to it for the players as it will be played behind closed doors due to COVID restictions.  Crusaders will be looking to build on their ercent good form while Cliftonville will be wanting to carry on the form from last week after a shaky few games before.

Crusaders will be a changed side from last weeks win against Warrenpoint Town as injury forced Aidan Wilson and Ross Clarke to leave the field. Gerard Doherty will again be in nets  and three of his back four will also remain in Jarlath O'Rourke, Chris Hegarty and Billy Joe Burns. We could see a shuffle that will mean Billy Joe moving to centre back and Jordan Forsythe dropping back into his position where he has played superbly when called upon. It could mean a debut then for Robbie Weir in midfield and he  will join Paul Heatley, Philip Lowry and Declan Caddell in a busy area for a derby game.  Jordan Owens could be a surprise inclusion after missing a few bweeks due to injury but Adam Lecky and Janie McGonigle will fight it out for the strikers role if he does. Ben Kennedy and "derby day" hero David Cushley also remain ready. Stephen Baxter will not need to motivate players for the game as Niorth Belfast Derbies speak for themselves but he will ask to return the three points to the Shore Road come 5.50pm.

Cliftonville currently sit in 5th position in the table and won for the first time in 4 games last week albeit with a lasp gasp penalty. Paddy McLaughlin will demand more from his side and will also hope that Joe Gormley can find the net after a pretty barren spell by his standards.  Crusaders are likely to face Rory Hale who transferred to Cliftonville just a few days ago and they know what they will face from him but Michael McCrudden, Gary Breen and Conor McMenamin are also formidable pplayers who will need watched. Cliftonville will want to avenge the 1-0 victory at Seaview when Jordan Owens scored the Crusaders winner back in October and this could be motivation they need so Crusaders will need to be ready.

Unfortunately supporters will not be allowed iin and we know it is tough both for supporters and players alike but at least you can watch the game on the live stream on www.247.tv.

It costs £7 to watch the game and make sure you log on etc and can see the game just before 3pm. Still feel involved and the players will also know you are watching. Be ready for 3pm on Saturday and get the colours on in front of whatever device you will watch it from.

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9th January 2021

 

Watch The North Belfast Derby On Live Stream

Unfortunately supporters will not be allowed iin to todays derby at Solitude between Cliftonville and Crusaders and we know it is tough both for supporters and players alike but at least you can watch the game on the live stream on www.247.tv/niprem

It costs £7 to watch the game and make sure you log on etc and can see the game just before 3pm. Still feel involved and the players will also know you are watching.

Be ready for 3pm on Saturday and get the colours on in front of whatever device you will watch it from.

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8th January 2021

 

NIFL Premiership Halted to 23rd January

 

The NI Football League, with support from the Irish FA, has agreed to halt the Dankse Bank Premiership for three matchdays from 6pm on Saturday evening (9 January) until Saturday 23 January.

Having considered views of membership and all key stakeholders the decision has been taken in light of the continued Covid-19 pandemic.

Matches will be scheduled to resume on Saturday 23 January and prior to those games commencing Covid-19 testing for players, coaches and officials will be arranged to ensure a safe return to play.

The three remaining Danske Bank Premiership matches scheduled for tomorrow (Saturday 9 January) will be played as scheduled.

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3rd January 2021

 

Jack Patterson Makes His Debut For Crusaders

 

Congratulations to 15 year old Jack Patterson who made his senior debut yesterday for Crusaders when he came on in the final minutes of the game against Warrenpoint Town. 

Jack has been excellent in training and has got to where he is through sheer graft and determination which was rewarded when given the nod  by Stephen Baxter yesterday.

Well done Jack from everyone in the Club and we look forward to seeing your development over the next while.

3rd January 2021

 

Deccy Reaches 450 Appearances

 

Congratulations to Crusaders legend Declan Caddell who made his 450th appearance for the Club yesterday. Declan has come a long way since he joined as a raw recruit from Hearts and learnt his trade before the breakthrough into the first team where he has been part of the spine for many seasons. 

Deccy has the complete set of local medals and also an All Ireland medal to his name and has scored a total of 49 goals so far.

Another milestone for the midfielder now chalked off as he looks to the magic 500 apperances for another personal record.

1st January 2021

 

Match Preview ; Crusaders v Warrenpoint Town Danske Bank Premiership

 

After an enforced rest due to Covid restrictions Crusaders are back in action on Saturday for the first time in several weeks. Warrenpoint Town are the opponents at Seaview  (3pm) in a game that Crusaders need to win to keep pressure on at the top of the table while Warrenpoint Town hope to keep the position they are in to carry on in what has been a "so so" start for them so far. 

Last time out Crusaders enjoyed a 5-0 victory over Portadown and where in good form so hopefully the break will not damage that. Gerard Doherty should keep his place in nets even if Sean O'Neill is fit again and the back four could be changed if Billy Joe Burns returns after being out for several weeks also. Aidan Wilson and Chris Hegarty have formed a good relationship in the middle of defence and will be picked again while Jarlath O'Rourke will be the fourth defender. Jordan Forsythe could be pushed up into the middle and will play in a midfield of Paul Heatley, Philip Lowry, Declan Caddell and maybe Ross Clarke or Gary Thompson.  Jordan Owens will miss out through injury and Adam Lecky or Jamie McGonigle should lead the line if either or both are selected. Stephen Baxter will be eager to get back into action and get another win to start the new year on a postive note and with seven games in January it could also be the push needed to get to the top of the table.

Warrenpoint Town sit outside the relegation zone in the Premiership table and manager Barry Gray has managed to get a win over Linfield and a draw against Larne with a total of eleven points picked up after eleven games. They have been active in the transfer market already during the Christmas break signing two from the League of Ireland. Francis McCaffrey is the main threat Crusaders will have to deal with but Aidan O'Sullivan is also a danger while Gavin Peers in the heart of defence could keep the Crusaders strikers at bay ahead of veteran Andy Coleman in nets.  

So we are set for the return of football but with current COVID restrictions all games will be played behind closed doors in the month of January unfortunately. 

We know it is tough both for supporters and players but at least you can watch the game on our live stream from CruesTV in conjunction with www.247.tv.

If you are a full member with a current season ticket you will automatically be registered for the coverage of the game on the 247 website. Everyone else can still view the game if they wish by simply buying the game for £!0.

Still feel involved and the players will also know you are watching. Be ready for 3pm on Saturday and get the colours on in front of whatever device you will watch it from.

C'mon the Crues. Keep The Faith.

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2nd January 2021

 

Paul Heatley Hat Trick Gets New Year Off To A Flyer

 

It was a winning start to 2021 for Crusaders as they over ran Warrenpoint Town 4-0 at Seaview. Adam Leckey got them off to a good start while Paul Heatley set the second half alight with a 10 minute  hat trick. 

Warrenpoint Town started well but Crusaders  got in the groove and simply over ran the visitors. On another day Adam Leckey could have had four or five goals but he got Crusaders off to a good start when he finished a delightful move after 21 minutes to make it 1-0. Chances came and went but Crusaders could not improve on the score until the 71st minute when it became the Paul Heatley show. He scored his first by simply flicking the ball up and volleying home before scoring his second at the back post finishing off a Declan Caddell cross on 76 minutes. On 81 minutes it was Crusaders four up and Paul Heatleys third when he ran on to a good ball and calmly putting it past Andy Coleman leaving it 4-0 and three points at the final whistle.

 

Full Report To Follow... 

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31st  December 2020

 

New Year Message From Our Chairman

 

Chairman Ronnie Millar would like to send out a New Years Message to everyone through the website and Social Media.

 

"On behalf of the Board of Crusaders Football Club can I wish everyone connected to the club from the Players, Management, Staff, Supporters , Volunteers right through to all our Sponsors a very Healthy, Happy, Peaceful and Prosperous New Year to you and your families.

"It has been a very tough 2020 due to the pandemic we are living through currently and it has hit us all in many forms and I hope this will not be the case again as we enter a new year. Supporters have missed out in following the team home and away for a long time and the team themselves have missed your support from the stands also but I sincerely hope that will change very very soon. Unfortunately it is the world we are living in and I take heart from the fact that we are saving lives by not having you at grounds around the country and when the restrictions are lifted I look forward to greeting you back at Seaview with open arms once again"

" To the rest of our Irish League Family can I also wish a Happy New Year and maybe just maybe you will watch a game at Seaview at some stage this season once again"

"In closing I hope you have a safe and enjoyable evening tonight and the team can get us off to a winning 2021 with three points against Warrenpoint Town on Saturday. Make sure you tune in on the live stream to watch the game"

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28th  December 2020

 

Crusaders v Warrenpoint Town Streaming Live

 

With current COVID restrictions all games will be played behind closed doors in the month of January unfortunately. 

We know it is tough both for supporters and players but at least you can watch the game on our live stream from CruesTV in conjunction with www.247.tv.

If you are a full member with a current season ticket you will automatically be registered for the coverage of the game on the 247 website. Everyone else can still view the game if they wish by simply buying the game for £!0.

Still feel involved and the players will also know you are watching. Be ready for 3pm on Saturday and get the colours on in front of whatever device you will watch it from.

C'mon the Crues. Keep The Faith.

27th  December 2020

 

Fixture Updates

 

Following the announcements of restrictions on elite sport several Danske Bank Premiership games where postponed over Chrustmas. The NIFL Fixtures Sub Committee and fixtures are as follows for Crusaders in a very busy January. Note changes in red. All ganes will be played behind closed doors under current restrictions but all games will be streamed live and are available on www.247.tv

Sat 2nd January 2021 Crusaders v Warrenpoint Town Seaview (3pm) Fixture as originally scheduled

Sat 9th January 2021 Cliftonville v Crusaders  Solitude (3pm)

Originally due to be played 26th December2020

Sat 16th January 2021 Ballymena United v Crusaders Ballymena Showgrounds (3pm)

Fixture as originally scheduled

Tues 19th Jan 2021 Crusaders v Linfield Seaview (7.45pm)

Originally due to be played 29th December 2020

Sat 23rd January 2021 Crusaders v Larne  Seaview (12.30pm)

Fixture as originally scheduled (Note change of kick off time due to Live Sky Sports coverage)

Tues 26th January 2021 Portadown v Crusaders Shamrock Park (7.45pm)

Fixture as originally scheduled

Sat 30th January 2021 Coleraine v Crusaders Coleraine Showgrounds (3pm)

Fixture as originally scheduled

The final outstanding fixture Carrick Rangers v Crusaders originally Friday 18th December 2020 is still to be rearranged.

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24th  December 2020

 

Festive Message From Our Chairman

 

Crusaders Chairman Ronnie Millar sends us a festive message through our Social Media outlets and the website.

"On behalf of the Board of Crusaders Football Club I would like to wish everyone near and far a very Merry Christmas. I extend the greetings to our players, management, coaches and staff at every level of our great club and hope the next few days will be enjoyable for all. It is a time to kick back and relax and spend time with friends and family but I am mindful of the unprecendented times we are living in due to the COVID pandemic and it will be tough for many of us as we are forced to spend time away from loved ones due to restrictions. Also uppermost in my thoughts as we go into the next few days are loved ones who will sadly be missing from the festivities this year due to to their passing and I ask that everyone keeps these families in our thoughts and prayers."

Ronnie adds "Can i give a special mention to the McDonald Centre volunteers who worked so hard during the first lockdown to provide food for the local community and to the staff who have worked under strict conditions since we have reopened to provide a service to our thirsty and hungry customers. To match day volunteers who have been a inspirational and dedicated bunch to ensure football has returned to Seaview over the last few months I send you seasons greetings."

"Can I wish our sponsors a Happy Christmas also and thank you for your continued support at this time and finally to the wider football family  throughout the Irish League,  to all competition sponsors and to NIFL  may you also have a good time these coming days."

"At this point I usually request the three points on Boxing Day in the North Belfast Derby as a Santa request but this year it is different. This year I ask you stay safe, healthy, respect the restrictions imposed on us and I look forward to seeing you at a match in the not so distant future."

C'mon the Crues. Keep The Faith

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23rd  December 2020

 

Rory Hale Leaves Crusaders

 

Crusaders FC can confirm that a bid has been accepted by the club for Rory Hale with terms agreed for his transfer.

Rory joined Crusaders in November 2018 after a successful spell at Derry City in the League of Ireland. Rory leaves Seaview with two winners medals picked up in the Irish Cup and Co Antrim Shield.

Crusaders would like to thank Rory for all his efforts and wish him well for the future.

21st December 2020

 

December 200 Club Winners

In the final draw of what has been a difficult year we have once again six lucky winners of the 200 Club, this time for December.

It has been hard to keep this very lucrative venture for the Club going and we can only thank the members from the bottom of our hearts who have contributed even when the draw was not being made and for those who where unable to donate their £10 for whatever reason we hope that you can rejoin at the earliest opportunity and thank you for being part of the 200 Club also. 120 numbers from members went into computerised draw.

The six lucky winners of are...

1st Prize      Fred Bell                No.075   £300.00

2nd Prize    Ronnie Millar       No.160   £150.00

3rd Prize     William Hislop     No. 112   £60.00

4th Prize     Michael Reeves   No. 069   £30.00 

5th Prize     Graham Hislop     No. 059   £30.00

6th Prize     Michael Long         No.229    £30.00

The football club will receive £560 from this months draw.

Thanks again and if you wish to know more about the 200 Club or would like to join please contact Mervyn Knox on mervynknox@aol.com or get in touch with the club.

17th December 2020

 

Carrick Rangers v Crusaders Postponed

 

Crusaders FC can confirm that the Danske Bank Premiership game against Carrick Rangers due to be played on Friday 18th December at Belfast Loughshore Arena has now been officially postponed to a later date.

 

17th December 2020

 

Club Statement

 

Crusaders FC have two confirmed positive COVID cases identified by the PHA from our game v Portadown on Saturday 12th December. We are currently working with the Irish FA, PHA and NIFL on the cases. We have made a formal request to NIFL for our game v Carrick Rangers to be postponed under the NIFL COVID Policy guidance. Crusaders FC wish the two players well in their recovery. Further details will follow.

 

17th December 2020

 

Crusaders Away In Irish Cup

 

Crusaders will play fellow Premiership side Coleraine at The Coleraine Showgrounds in the Sadlers Peaky Blinder Irish Cup.

The tie is due to be played on Saturday 9th January 2021

 

14th December 2020

 

Crusaders Win Friendly 3-0

 

Crusaders tonight defeated Ards 3-0 in a friendly at Seaview. It a decent game for those watching Jamie McGonigle scored after 8 minutes finishing well after a good pass from Ben Kennedy. They had to wait for a secondl on 42 minutes when David Cushley scored with a trademark goal when he bent his shot well away from the keeper and into the net from 22 yards to make it 2-0. Billy Joe Burns got Crusaders third on the hour when he did well to get to the back post and turned in a David Cushley cross.

3-0 and a good work made it a good night all round for Crusaders.

 

13th December 2020

 

Crusaders v Ards Friendly Monday 14th

 

Crusaders will play a friendly against Championship side Ards on Monday night (7.30pm)

Admission is by ticket only due to COVID restrictions and they can purchased now at https://www.crusadersfctickets.com/ costing £4 Adult and £2 Concession. You can also purchase before the game at Seaview from the ticket office to your right as you walk into the McDonald Centre.

It would be nice to see you at the match and if you cannot nake it why not purchase it on www.247.tv/niprem and watch it at home instead.

 

12th December 2020

 

Rory Hale Hands In Transfer Request

 

Rory Hale has been placed on the transfer list at his own request. The club have reluctantly accepted his request and are open to offers.

 

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12th December 2020

 

5 Star Crues As They Sweep Aside Portadown

 

Crusaders today went about their business in commanding style defeating Portadown 5-0 at Seaview.

In a one sided game they went ahead within 6 minutes when Jordan Owens tucked the ball home at the back post before Paul Heatley doubled the tally with an absolute peach of a goal when he lobbed Ben Pierce from a tight angle outside the box. Crusaders finished the half strongly when Adam Lecky headed home from a Jordan Forsythe cross after replacing Jordan Owens who left the field injured.

The second half continued like the first with Crusaders in control and they made it 4-0 when Philip Lowry headed home a Paul Heatley cross before getting his second of the day and Crusaders fifth on 68 minutes when he finished well after a good run and shot by Adam Lecky was initially saved.

Full Report To Follow....

 

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11th December 2020

 

Match Preview ; Crusaders v Portadown Danske Bank Premiership

 

Crusaders are at home for the second week running in the Danske Bank Premiership and this time newly promoted Portadown are the visitors. It has been a few years since the teams last met and Crusaders will be looking to keep on the tails of the Larne and Linfield while Portadown will be looking points to stay away from the relegation end of the table.

Crusaders enjoyed a 2-0 victory over Glentoran last time out and Stephen Baxter will have been pleased with the way his side stuck at the task and will simply want more. Expect little change to the side that won last week but Billy Joe Burns could be added to the squad if passed fit and ready to return but at best a place on the bench  would be . Gerard Doherty will remain in goals and the back four who where solid last should stay the same. The midfield where excellent last week and only injury could see a change their also. Up front  Jordan Owens was at his best leading the line but if rested Jamie McGonigle and Adam Lecky will be ready to take his place.

So all set for another game and we have of course limited numbers back in the ground which the team will appreciate.and look forward to hearing the backing they will give. With only season ticket holders allowed in you can of course watch a live stream of the game by logging into www.247.tv/niprem A season ticket holder who cannot make the game will be able to watch it as part of their season ticket package for free while everyone else can pay £10 to watch. Wether your at Seaview or at home get the colours on and get behind your team. C'mon the Crues. Keep The Faith.

 

8th December 2020

 

Emily Wilson Wins Womens NIFWA POTM For November

 

Crusaders Strikers teenage forward Emily Wilson has shot her way to the Northern Ireland Football Writers’ Danske Bank Women’s Premiership Player of the Month award for November.

The 19-year-old is on a double high at present as not only has she been banging in the goals for her club, her goal-scoring form was then rewarded with an international call-up and she played a part in Northern Ireland’s history-making achievement when they qualified for the Women’s Euro 2022 play-offs.

Emily started November by scoring a 90th minute equaliser to get the Crues a point against Sion Swifts and she then notched four to help the Shore Road girls to a magnificent seven in their north-Belfast derby demolition of Cliftonville Ladies.

“I am so happy to be awarded this,” said Emily.

“It has been a great month for both our club and me personally.

“We’ve been doing really well this season, I thought we played well this past month and I’m glad to get on the scoresheet a few times in the month as well.

“It was a great game, I was so happy to get the four goals and it makes it even more special in a north-Belfast derby.”

Emily’s recent form is made all the more impressive by the fact that she has just returned to the football pitch after taking some time out of the game.

“I took a break for a year or so just to focus on myself and I was doing my A Levels.,” she explained.

“I came back this season, I am really enjoying it and I’m happy to be back playing football again.

“We’ve been doing well at Crusaders this season as well and there’s been a lot of improvement made and it’s looking promising for next year.”

If Emily’s international recall was unexpected, being thrust straight into the starting line up for the key qualifiers against Belarus and the Faroe Islands came completely out of the blue.

Manager Kenny Shiels was suitably impressed by her club form that with Everton Ladies’ striker Simone Magill ruled out of the games he had no hesitation in turning to Emily.

“To get the call into the Northern Ireland squad was incredible,” she said.

“I made my senior debut in a tournament in Turkey a couple of years ago. The match against Belarus was my competitive senior debut and to be part of the team that qualified for the Euro play-off was fantastic.”

 

5th December 2020

 

Crusaders Persistence Earns A Win Against Glentoran

 

Crusaders today defeated Glentoran 2-0 in the Danske Bank Premiership in a game that was played at Seaview behind closed doors due to COVID resrictions. It was a tight affair that Crusaders edged throughout and they where rewarded with two goals in the final ten minutes from a Jordan Forsythe penalty and a wonder goal from Ross Clarke.

Crusaders started with speed and for the first few minutes laid siege to the Glentoran goal but an early breakthrough wouldn't come. Ross Clarke hit the post from a tight on 10 minutes and as Glentoran started to come into the game they had a shot that went across the front of Gerard Dohertys goal with no one in the six yard box to finish after 18 minutes. Glentoran rallied for a short while but Jordan Owens helped his defence out twice before Marcus Kane had a shot from outside the box that went wide. Crusaders hit back and a good build up came to an end when a Ross Clarke cross was palmed away by Rory Brown on 28 minutes while another cross was just too high for Jordan Owens to get his head on it. Crusaders did have the ball in the net on 39 minutes but the referee disallowed in for a foul on Rory Brown and just before the half time whistle Rory Brown again was in a good position to deny Ross Clarke a goal. That ended the half and it was 0-0 at the break.

Jordan Forsythe had the first effort of the second half but his 35 yard effort was charged after a free kick was touched into his path. Philip Lowrys shot on 49 minutes was unlucky not to be touched into the net by Declan Caddell and the next cross into the box saw Jordan Owens head wide. Jusdt a minute later Ross Clarke had a good effort blocked and Glentoran countered quickly before the move broke down. Crusaders went straight up the pitch but Ross Clarke this time hit his shot into the side netting. Again Glentoran rallied but Dale Gorman screwed his shot wide while a good through ball evaded Robbie McDaid and fell into Gerad Dohertys control. Glentoran then missed their best chance of the day when Jay Donnelly met a cross unmarked around eight yards out but he headed over much to the relief of the Crusaders defence. On 73 minutes it was Crusaders who went close but Philip Lowry watched as his shot crashed off the post into the path of Ross Clarke but his shot was welled saved by Rory Brown. It was all Crusaders by this stage and Chris Hegarty could have opened the scoring on 79 minutes but he screwed his shot wide at the back post. Crrusaders only had to wait a few more minutes before they finally got the goal they had been close too so many times. A handball in the box by a Glentoran defender was spotted by the referee and he had no hesitation in pointing to the spot from which which Jordan Forsythe cooly slotted home and it was 1-0 Crusaders on 82 minutes. Two minutes later it was 2-0 with a goal of the season contender from Ross Clarke. Ross collected the ball ouside the box before cutting in beating defender after defender as he made his way across the penalty area before dispatching the ball past Rory Brown into the corner of the net. after which he was mobbed by his team mates. The second gaol knocked any fight out of Glentoran  and Crusaders glided through the final minutes of the game winning 2-0 at the final whistle.

Three well deserved points and and convincing display from Stephen Baxters side leaving them in third place in the Premiership table. Work and prep now starts as the focus turns to next Saturday and the visit to Seaview of Portadown (3pm)

Team Line Up...Gerard Doherty, Chris Hegarty, Aidan Wilson, Philip Lowry, Declan Caddell, Jordan Forsythe, Jarlath O'Rourke, Jordan Owens, Gary Thompson, Paul Heatley, Ross Clarke.

Subs...Neil Shields, Ben Kennedy, Jamie McGonigle, Rory Hale, David Cushley, Adam Lecky, Rodney Brown.

 

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7th December 2020

 

Condolences To Watson Family

 

It is with great sadness the club has learnt of the passing of life long supporter Terry Watson.

Terry rarely missed a game when Crusaders played until illness forced him unfortunately. Terry would have be seen in recent years every game sitting under the main stand in his wheelchair getting behind Stephen and his team with his son at his side and attended as many away games as possible also.

On behalf of everyone at Crusaders Foootball Club Chairman Ronnie Millar wishes to offer deepest symathies and condolences to the Watson family circle on the passing of Terry and asks that we keep the Watson family circle in our thoughts and prayers in the days and weeks ahead at this sad time.

Terry Watson you will be missed. Forever Crues

 

2nd December 2020

 

Live Stream Information For Crusaders v Glentoran

 

We play Glentoran on Saturday at Seaview and once again due to restrictions supporters will not be able to attend.

On the plus side though you can follow the game via a live stream that will be available to everyone thanks to Ian at CruesTV and Aidrain at 247.tv

If you are a season ticket holder simply register on the following site https://www.247.tv/niprem (if you haven't already) with your email and password. You will then be able to view the game. It is advisable to make sure it works beforehand and there is a dedicated email to help with any issues should they arise. This game will be free to season ticket holders as voted on at the AGM.

Non season ticket holders and Glentoran supporters can also watch by purchasing on the same website at a cost of £10. This price was agreed by full members present at the AGM.

Make sure you are tuned in at 3pm on Saturday to once again support the lads from a distance, C'mon the Crues

 

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4th December 2020

 

Match Preview ; Crusaders v Glentoran Danske Bank Premiership

 

Crusaders are at home this week in the Danske Bank Premiership and Glentoran are the visitors for this top clash. Crusaders will want a reaction to last weeks defeat to Glenavon at Mourneview Park while Glentoran will be looking to keep the Premiership climb going after a poor start to the season.

Crusaders where by their own admission below par last week and will be bursting to show their real quality this time. Sean O'Neill was a late call off against Glenavon with Gerard Doherty stepping in with only minutes to kick off so we wait to see who starts in goals. Billy Joe Burns could return to the squad for selection along with Jarlath O'Rourke so we may see a shuffle at the back. Paul Heatley got back to the bench last week after being out with an injury and may be in line for a recall today. The midfield was changed last week with fresh legs getting a start so Stephen Baxter has a headache as to will get the nod this time round having watched several players getting game time . Up front it will be a straight battle between Jamie McGonigle, Adam Lecky and Jordan Owens or they could all get a start like previous games earlier in the season.  Stephen Baxter will demand three points to stay in touch at the top as we head to the busy Christmas period and also to try and build momentum for a title challenge.

Glentoran after a poor start to the season are beginning to show signs of a squad that will justify the large wage bill and squad they have put together. Defeat at Seaview in the Shield Final on Wednesday will have no bearing on todays game as Mick McDermott fielded nearly a totally different side to the previous game.  Glentoran have big players all over the side with Patrick McClean and Marcus Kane  the main men in defence who will be out to stop the Crusaders strikers. Several otherplayers are in great form and Crusaders will need to be wary ofJay Donnelly Robbie McDaid and Paul O'Neill should they play given the form they are in.  Mick McDermott will have his team up for this game as they gather a head of steam in the Premiership and they will certainly want to get up the table as fast as they can.

So another big game at Seaview and unfortunately due to restrictions supporters will not be in attendance. You can however follow the game via a live stream that will be available to everyone thanks to Ian at CruesTV and Aidrain at 247.tv

If you are a season ticket holder simply register on the following site https://www.247.tv/niprem (if you haven't already) with your email and password. You will then be able to view the game. It is advisable to make sure it works beforehand and there is a dedicated email to help with any issues should they arise. This game will be free to season ticket holders as voted on at the AGM.

Non season ticket holders and Glentoran supporters can also watch by purchasing on the same website at a cost of £10. This price was agreed by full members present at the AGM.

Get behind the lads once again from home. They know you want to be at Seaview but know you are vwith them in spirit. C'mon the Crues. Keep The Faith

 

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28th November 2020

CRUSADERS LOSE TO GLENAVON 3-1

Crusaders today produced a below par performance  at Mourneview Park when they went down 3-1 to Glenavon in todays Danske Bank Premiership game.

Crusaders took the lead as early as the 3rd minute when Philip Lowry finished off a knockdown from Adam Lecky. Glenavon laid siege to Crusaders goal but Gerard Doherty and his defence stood strong for the rest of the half. 

Glenavon came out the second half all guns blazing and equalised on the 49th with a back post Jack O'Mahony header. Glenavon took the lead when Peter Campbell scored on 74 minutes and sealed the win  six minutes later when Matthew Fitzpatrick got Glenavons third.

Full report to follow.

December Programme Available for Pre Order

 

The December Edition of the Crusaders Matchday Programme is now available to pre order ahead of a busy month at Seaview.

Another packed issue includes a feature on former player Stuart Dallas, Barry McDevitte looks at the European fortunes of our former opponents B36 Torshavn, Joe Thompson recalls another famous 1-0 victory and there is an archive look at the time Crusaders tried to sign Pat Jennings!

 

The issue also includes all the latest news, photos and stats from around Seaview all for just £3.

 

https://crusadersfcshop.com/collections/match-programmes

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Irish Football Association and NIFL thank National Lottery Players for their support

£450k support package from The National Lottery gives lifeline to all NI Football League clubs

The Irish FA is delighted to announce that all Northern Ireland Football League (NIFL) clubs will each receive a share of £450k of financial support as part of a unique partnership with The National Lottery. 

The partnership with The National Lottery will benefit all men’s and women’s clubs in the NI Football League.  It will provide vital support as clubs are either forced to play without fans or not able to play football at all, owing to COVID-19 restrictions.  As a thank you, National Lottery players, who make a difference every time they buy a ticket, will also get a range of benefits – including free tickets once stadia have fully reopened and VIP experiences with the Northern Ireland national side.

The clubs are important parts of their communities and the funding recognises their role beyond just a 3pm kick off on a Saturday afternoon. They provide a source of pride to their local areas and have been at the heart of their communities through the duration of the pandemic.

The funds will play a key role in ensuring that the clubs can continue to exist and operate during the pandemic.  The money will be distributed by the Irish FA to clubs ensuring their continued survival.

Patrick Nelson, Chief Executive Officer for the Irish FA, said: “Thanks to National Lottery players, football clubs are able to protect and enhance the crucial work they do serving their communities right across Northern Ireland. We’re delighted to play our role in this brilliant initiative.”

 

Andrew Johnston, Managing Director of the NI Football League, said, “This funding is a huge boost to our member clubs at a particularly desperate time. We would like to express our sincere thanks to The National Lottery for their support in safeguarding the immediate future of our clubs.

Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Brandon Lewis, said, “Men’s and women’s clubs in the NI Football League play a vital role in their local communities, and have been facing tough times recently because of coronavirus restrictions. We are extremely grateful to The National Lottery for this vital funding package, which will go a long way in helping these clubs keep going until fans are safely able to return to grounds and stadia.”

Nigel Railton, Chief Executive of National Lottery operator Camelot, said, “The National Lottery and its players make a massive difference to communities across the UK day in, day out – and have been doing so for the past 26 years. So we’re really delighted to be working with the Irish Football Association to support these incredibly important clubs in the Northern Ireland Football League, enabling them to continue playing such an important role in their local communities. I am a huge football fan and I think all fans will be delighted to know that their clubs are getting the support they need.”

The partnerships follows a similar initiative between the FA and National League in England, and the FAW and Cymru Leagues in Wales. Work continues on a partnership with the Scottish FA. The money for these initiatives is coming from a National Lottery promotional fund. It is not being funded by money allocated for National Lottery Good Causes or by Camelot.

27th November 2020

 

LIVE STREAM OF GLENAVON V CRUSADERS

 

We know you cannot follow Crusaders to Mourneview Park on Saturday but you can still watch the game live as it will be streamed.

Simply go to https://www.247.tv/gaa/niprem/video/1171057-glenavon-v-crusaders-saturday-28th-nov-2020-15-00pm and register if you have not already and purchase the game from the list  When you have  bought simply sit back and enjoy the game with your red and black on and get behind us. C'mon the Crues

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27th November 2020

 

Match Preview ; Crusaders v Dungannon Swifts Danske Bank Premiership

 

Due to new COVID restrictions we are back to playing behind closed doors for two weeks as we travel to Mourneview Park to play Glenavon in the latest Danske Bank Premiership game of the season. Crusaders will look to build on last weeks solid win against Dungannon Swifts while Glenavon will be out to prove a point after losing to Linfield in controversial circumstances.

Crusaders have had another good week at training and preparations are complete to take on Glenavon. Sean O'Neill cemented his number one position with a good performance against the Swifts including a penalty save and the back four also provided great cover and should remain unchanged. Stephen shuffled the midfield last week and it worked but Paul Heatley could return to the squad for selection after injury and the bench could be his starting point as he is eased back in.  Adam Lecky and Jamie McGonigle led the line last week but Jordan Owens could return.  Crusaders will know they are in for a tough test as always at Mourneview and they could of course come up against two ex Crusaders players who know how they play in Colin Coates and Sean Ward. We will not face Matthew Snoddy as he cannot play against Crusaders under his loan deal agreement.

Glenavon will want to bounce back after feeling aggrieved last week and they will be sent out to get the three points. 

So all set for another tough tackling contest between the two sides. We know you cannot be with us but you can go to https://www.247.tv/gaa/niprem/video/1171057-glenavon-v-crusaders-saturday-28th-nov-2020-15-00pm and register if you have not already and purchase the game from the list  When you have  bought simply sit back and enjoy the game. C'mon the Crues and Keep The Faith.

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