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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.

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.

Larne 

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.

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

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.

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...

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.

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.

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.

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.

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... 

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.

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"

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.

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

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.

 

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....

 

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.”

 

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

 

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.

 

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

 

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

 

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

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.

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.

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.

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

BLACK FRIDAY SALE STARTS TODAY!!

 

UP TO 25% OFF WHICH INCLUDES PRODUCTS FROM OUR HUMMEL RANGE.

 

Discount applies automatically and deal ends at midnight on Cyber Monday (30th November 2020)

 

https://crusadersfcshop.com/collections/sale 

21st November 2020

CRUSADERS DEFEAT DUNGANNON SWIFTS 3-1

It was a good day at Seaview today when they defeated Dungannon Swifts 3-1 in the Danske Bank Premiership with a commanding performance that will please manager Stephen Baxter. It was a game that saw three penalties given and Crusaders scored their two while Dungannon missed the one they where given.

The game started with both sides looking to get an nearly breakthrough and Dungannon Swifts got that chance when referee Andy Davey pointed to the spot after Rodney Brown tripped a Swifts forward just inside the box. Dougie Wilson stepped up to take the spot kick but Sean O'Neill guessed correctly and made a good save down to his left and the score remained 0-0.  Crusaders got it together after that early let off and went close on 13 minutes after Sam Johnston dropped a corner but the first two attempts on goal where blocked before Jamie McGonigle shot across goal and the ball was cleared. Crusaders did not have to wait long before did score. On 17 minutes a good build up and knock down from Philip Lowry  saw the ball land a Jamie McGonigles feet and he made no mistake hitting his shot across Johnston into the inside of the side netting and Crusaders led 1-0.  Sam Johnston reacted quickly five minutes later to get out of his box to clear before Adam Lecky pounced as Crusaders went looking a second but they themselves where pegged back just three minutes later on 27 minutes. Dungannon Swifts where awarded a free kick 30 yards out after a foul by Aidan Wilson and up stepped Dougie Wilson who lifted the ball over the wall and into the net leaving Sean 'O'Neill no chance and it was level at 1-1. Crusaders went close from the restart but the Swifts goal remained intact. Ben Kennedy cushioned his header into Sam Johnstons hands as he met a cross at the back post  on the half hour and just a minute later Philip Lowry just could not control in front of goal to get his shot away. Crusaders where in control but corners came and went plus Rory Hale did well getting to the libne but his cross was cut out with 35 minutes gone. Chris Hegarty cleared a Swifts attack as they looked threatening and when Swifts got another free kick from exactly the same spot as earlier Dougie Wilson put his kick over the bar with four minutes left on the clock. Philip Lowry wasted a good chance but he glanced his header wide from a wicked Jordan Forsythe cross with just a minute of the half remaining leaving it all square at the break    1-1

Crusaders got a penalty within two minutes of the restart when a Swifts players hand touched the ball and Bem Kennedy cooly stepped up to put his spot kick away and Crusaders where in the lead. Crusaders started to knock the ball about and Adam Lecky was unlucky not to score after he got on the end ofan Adam Lecky knockdown and Rory Hales cross went by everyone. Crusaders went further ahead on 59 minutes and it came from another penalty. On this occasion an attempted cross came off a Swifts defenders hand and the visitors where shocked it was given. When it had all calmed down it was Ben Kennedy again who stepped up and he scored again to make it 3-1. Crusaders where coasting now and both Jamie McGonigle and Rory Hale went close. Jamie McGonigle thought he had got Crusaders fourth on 63 minutes but after a long hard think the ref blew for offside and the goal was chalked off. Sean O'Neill stayed alert and made a good save to keep Crusaders ahead 3-1 while his defence did well on two occasions also. The game by this stage was starting to take on a familiar look and Crusaders eased to the whistle and eventually won 3-1.

So three points and a sold performance with happy faces around Seaview. The focus now changes to next week and Glenavon away.

Team Line up...Sean O'Neill, Chris Hegarty, Aidan Wilson, Philip Lowry, Ben Kennedy, Jamie McGonigle, Rory Hale, Jordan Forsythe, Adan Lecky, Rodney Brown, Gary Thompson

Subs Gerard Doherty, David Cushley, Declan Caddell, Jarlath O'Rourke, Michael Ruddy, Jordan Owens, Ross Clarke

21st November 2020

ROBBIE WEIR SIGNS PRE CONTRACT 

Crusaders are pleased to announce that Newtownabbey born Robbie Weir has signed a pre contract deal with the Club and will be available to play from January 2021.

Robbie  who will be 32 next month has had good career in England before returning to play for Waterford in the League of Ireland  last season and has now signed for the club his father played for as well. 

Robbie started his career at Larne before going to Sunderland in 2005 and then went on to play for Tranmere Rovers, Burton Albion,  Leyton Orient and Chesterfield.

 

Stephen Baxter is delighted with the signing saying " We are absolutely thrilled and delighted to get a player of Robbies standing and quality in the game to sign papers for us. He is  31 years old and having played all his career in England after leaving Larne at the age of 16 to go across the water to sign for Sunderland and to get a player of that stature to come and sign for Crusaders is just brilliant."

Stephen added "He is a leader, he is an organiser, he bosses people about. The first night in training it was briilant to see him operating and I am just thrilled to get him over the line and I am looking forward to see him play in the second part of the season"

Welcome To Seaview Robbie and we hope your time is both successful and enjoyable.

20th November 2020

Match Preview ; Crusaders v Dungannon Swifts Danske Bank Premiership

Match Day 7 in the Danske Bank Premiership this week and Crusaders play Dungannon Swifts at Seaview (3pm) Crusaders will want to bounce straight back after defeat last Saturday night to Larne while Dungannon Swifts will look to extend their unbeaten run a little more.

Crusaders by their own admission did not play well last week and despite a late surge did not do enough to win the game and Stephen Baxter will look for a massive reaction come kick off. We could see the team freshened up in several positions with players who have been on the bench the last few weeks getting a chance from the start. Jarlath O'Rourke may be considered  as a starter for Saturday after being out of the starting line up for a few weeks while Rory Hale, Declan Caddell and Ben Kennedy could come into the reckoning for midfield. Paul Heatley could also return from injury and make the starting XI. Jordan Owens came off early against Larne and will be rested for this game which means David Cushley could step in if Stephen Baxter decides to stick with his formation. A win is essential to stay with the leading pack and the team picked will certainly look to do just that.

Dungannon Swifts sit in eighth place in the Danske Bank Premiership and are unbeaten in their last three games. Kris Lindsay will be happy to have got points on the board after losing the first two games of the season but he will also want that to continue. Dungannon Swifts have in the past been a hard team to break down and this game will no exception. Sam Johnston will be out to stop Crusaders scoring while up front Dougie Wilson who scored two against Cliftonville in the last game they played will be out to add to that tally.  Lucan Forde and Dylan O'Kane will also need watched not forgetting ex Crusaders player Michael Carvill who can also pose a threat.

So all set for Match Day 7. As we know only full members can  attend Seaview due to restrictions but for the first time we will stream the game live foe people who cannot attend.  

You can watch us live on the day via the following link https://www.247.tv/gaa/niprem/video/1171054-crusaders-v-dungannon-swifts-saturday-21st-nov-2020-15-00pm   We will have a match commentator and also a summariser who will give us full commentary during the game. 

You simply register as advised on the 247 website and follow the instructions. Crusaders season ticket holders who cannot attend will receive the game FOC as part of their season ticket package while everyone else can watch for a fee of £10 which was set by at the Club AGM by full members. The offer is open to anyone who wishes to tune into the game.

We hope you will join us on Saturday from home no matter who you support. C'mon the Crues and Keep The Faith.

18th November 2020

CRUSADERS V DUNGANNON SWIFTS LIVE ON 247

This Saturday for the first time ever in conjunction with CruesTV and and 247TV  Crusaders FC will stream the Danske Bank Premiership game between Crusaders and Dungannon Swifts live from Seaview at 3pm.

This is due to the restrictions on attendances imposed on us by Covid pandemic and the fact that only 460 home supporters are allowed into the ground and no away fans allowed to attend at all.

You can watch us live on the day via the following link https://www.247.tv/gaa/niprem/video/1171054-crusaders-v-dungannon-swifts-saturday-21st-nov-2020-15-00pm   We will have a match commentator and also a summariser who will give us full commentary during the game. 

You simply register as advised on the 247 website and follow the instructions. Crusaders season ticket holders who cannot attend will receive the game FOC as part of their season ticket package while everyone else can watch for a fee of £10 which was set by at the Club AGM by full members. The offer is open to anyone who wishes to tune into the game.

We hope you will join us on Saturday from home no matter who you support.

18th November 2020

CRUSADERS STRIKERS WIN NBD IN STYLE

Crusaders Strikers won the North Belfast Derby in style this evening with a convincing 7-0 victory over Cliftonville Ladies . It was also a special night for Emily Wilson  who bagged herself 4 goals as well as goals coming from Julie Nelson, Amy McGivern and an OG. It lleaves Crusaders Strikers in second spot in the league table.

Well done to all.

15th November 2020

SPEEDY RECOVERY TO JACKIE HENRY

On behalf of Players, Management, Board and Supporters Chairman Ronnie Millar would like to pass on best wishes and a speedy recovery to our photographer Jackie Henry who had a fall last night outside Inver Park. Jackie was taken to hospital and after treatment returned home with three broken ribs.
Thank You to Vice President Stephen Bell for assistance in going to the hospital and getting Jackie home and to Larne for their concern for Jackie and following up today with a nice email which has been passed on.
Get well soon and hopefully see you back behind the lens at matches in the near future

14th November 2020

CRUSADERS LATE SHOW NOT ENOUGH AT iNVER PARK

A late surge by Crusaders was in vain as they where beaten 2-1 by Larne at Inver Park this evening. In blustery and rainy conditions both sides tried to play decent football but it was Larne who shaded the first half that ended in a stalemate.

The second half the home side came out the more determined and Crusaders where hit with a quick fire double with Davy McDaid and Thomas Cosgrove scoring on 69 and 73 minutes. Crusaders managed to pull a goal back on 81 minutes through Declan Caddell but couldn't add to their tally before the whistle meaning they left with zero points in the bag.

Full Report To Follow.

14th November 2020

TONIGHTS GAME LIVE ON TWO PLATFORMS

We know you can't be with us tonight at Inver Park because of restrictions but  you can watch us on the BBC SportNI wensite and the BBC iPlayer.

Listen to Michael Clarke and David Jeffrey give their analysis on the game while watching on the TV, laptop or phone.

Get your red and black and shout and sing while you get behind the lads from the start.

If you can't watch keep up to date on our facebook page with minute by minute updates from the game.

Keep The Faith.

13th November 2020

Match Preview ; Larne v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership

 

Saturday evening football this week for Crusaders as they travel to Larne at Inver Park (5.30pm) in Match Day 6 of the Danske Bank Premiership. Both sides have had great starts to the season and having already met a few weeks ago in the Co. Antrim Shield they will already know the style they will face and will look to out smart each other once kick off comes.

Crusaders had a great win on Tuesday night when they defeated Coleraine 1-0 at Seaview. A superb team performance will leave Stephen Baxter with hopefully an easy choice to make and possibly the same starting XI could take the field unless injury could see a change. Sean O'Neill will start again while the back four of Jordan Forsythe, Billy Joe Burns, Chris Hegarty  and Michael Ruddy who formed a smashing defensive wall could be in front of him. Aidan Wilson is available with Rodney Brown possibly missing through injury.  Stephen may look to change the midfield should he feel that a fresh set of legs are needed but those that played last time out did not do anything wrong and could be retained. Up front Adam Lecky, Jordan Owens and Jamie McGonigle have formed a good relationship and they may all start if tactics are not changed. The team will be told not to dwell on the defeat from a few weeks ago and play like they did on Tuesday night and the result will come.

Larne are unbeaten so far in the Premiership with three wins and two draws but with big expections at Inver they need to be on top of their game every week. Tiernan Lynch has assembled a big squad on big money and they are riding high at the minute. Quality all over the pitch Crusaders will need to be wary of Fuad Sule and Mark Randall pushing on from midfield while up front Davy McDaid and Johnny McMurray are the main goal threats. Larne of course are peppered with ex Crusaders players and they will also be out to prove a point.

So all set for a good game in front of the live BBC Sport cameras. We know you can't be with us due to restrictions so we ask you tune in, get the Crusaders colours on and give us your support in spirit. The game kicks off at 5.30pm on the BBC SportNI website and the BBC iPlayer, C.mon the Crues and Keep The Faith.

13th November 2020

Crues players strike the LOTTO...

 

Crusaders players Sean O'Neill, Billy Joe Burns, David Cushley & Thomas Burns have been signed up by iconic Italian footwear specialists LOTTO for the season.

 

This deal follows up on LOTTO's sponsorship of the management team for the season

 

The 4 players will wear the new range of SOLISTA boots and are delighted with the design, quality and comfort of the footwear.

 

Crusaders FC would like to thank LOTTO and their representatives for their continued support.

Watch out for upcoming competitions to win signed LOTTO football boots.

11th November 2020

COMPETITION TIME

In partnership with our Official Footwear Partner LOTTO, Crusaders FC are giving away 2 pairs of LOTTO SOLISTA 100 III football boots signed by your favourite player.

LOTTO have supplied new boots to Sean O'Neill (as pictured), Billy Joe Burns, David Cushley, Thomas Burns & the Crusaders FC management/backroom team for the season.

To enter simply follow the instructions below:

1) Log on to www.fantasticfanatics.com

2) Click 'JOIN AS A FAN'

3) Search for CRUSADERS FOOTBALL CLUB as your beneficiary

4) Select CRUSADERS FC and sign up

5) Follow the sign up instructions and make sure you register any payment cards you use for instore or online shopping

6) After successful sign up, search through the retailers (1000's available)

7) Make a purchase with your favourite retailer online before Monday 23rd November 2020

ENTRY RECORDED

Have you already signed up? To register your entry, simply make a purchase with your favourite retailer through the Fantastic Fanatics website.

The 2 winners will be selected by Sean O'Neill on Thursday 26th November 2020.

Fantastic Fanatics is a sports fundraising platform. You can raise funds for FREE simply by shopping through www.fantasticfanatics.com

10th November 2020

Jordan Owens Trademark Goal Seals Crusaders Victory

Crusaders tonight go joint top in the Danske Bank Premiership after a superb and satisfying victory over Coleraine at Seaview in front of Sky Sports cameras. It was that man again Jordan Owens who scored with a trademark header that sealed the points making Crusaders supporters at the game and watching at home a very happy group of people.

The game had a quiet start and the first real action happened in the 7th minute when Chris Hegarty blocked a Ben Doherty shot on goal. Panic in the Coleraine defence a minute later led to a corner and from that corner Gareth Deane in the Coleraine goal made a wonder save from a Philip Lowry header when he somehow clawed the ball back from under the bar.  Both defences where on top and Billy Joe Burns cleared a free kick with his head while at the the other end Lyndon Kane did well as Crusaders threatened. On 20 minutes Curtis Allens tamely hit shot was aved by Sean O'Neill and five minutes later Jamie McGonigle and Jordan Owens fluffed their shot seconds after each other as Crusaders started to turn the screw. Lyndon Kane again denied Jamie McGonigle a shooting chance as the half hour approached and Crusaders had a let off ten minutes before half time when a goalmouth scramble saw the ball cleared for a Coleraine corner.  Stephen Lowry went close from the corner when his shot was deflected wide and the half ended with Coleraine s Stephen O'Donnell defending well as Philip Lowry waited to pounce. With that the half ended 0-0.

The second half was only started when a Jamie McGonigle whipped in cross caused problems but Gareth Deane in goals did just enough to put off Jordan Owens.  Again both sides went head to head but produced little to bother the goalkeepers with Billy Joe Burns going closest but his shot still went wide. Coleraine won a free kick after 56 minutes 25 yards out and it was Sean O'Neills turn to impress when he got down well to right hand post to save Eoin Bradleys set piece.  Crusaders claims for a penalty when Adam Lecky was fouled where turned away while Lyndon Kane was on hand again to clear with Jordan Owens ready to head goalwards. Crusaders kept plugging away and Coleraine kept them at arms length. Jordan Owens was all over the pitch and he did brilliantly in defence when he headed clear with Coleraine giving it a real go. Crusaders though came back at Coleraine and on 71 minutes they where rewarded with what turned out to be the winning goal.  Jordan Forsythe played a beautiful free kick into the box and Jordan Owens timed his run to perfection and planted the ball firmly past Gareth Deane with his head to put Crusaders 1-0 up. Sub David Cushley was unlucky when he just failed to catch a volley correctly on 82 minutes as Crusaders began to protect their lead the game played out and on the whistle Crusaders had won 1-0 with a superb team performance.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So three massive points and a performance that will have pleased the management and supporters alike. Focus now turns to Saturday and the trip to play Larne at Inver Park (5.30pm) on Match Day 6 of the Danske Bank Premiership.

Team Line up...Sean O'Neill, Billy Joe Burns, Chris Hegarty, Philip Lowry, Jamie McGonigle, Jordan Forsythe, Adam Lecky, Michael Ruddy, Jordan Owens, Gary Thompson, Ross Clarke

Subs Neil Shields, Aidan Wilson, Ben Kennedy, Rory Hale, David Cushley, Declan Caddell. Jarlath O'Rourke

9th November 2020

Match Preview ; Crusaders v Coleraine Danske Bank Premiership

Live Sky Sports cameras return to Seaview on Tuesday night and it could not be a better match to show than Crusaders v Coleraine in the Danske Bank Premiership (7.45pm) Both sides have played out some great battles over the last few seasons and hopefully this will not disappoint either.

Crusaders go into the game of the back of a great 4-1 win over Ballymena United where the second half performance proved to be the best 45 minutes of the season so far.  Stephen Baxter will assess players fitness ahead of Tuesday nights game  and may take the chance to refresh certain positions as the big games keep coming. Billy Joe Burns returns to the panel after a three match ban for a sending off against Warrenpoint Town and this may give Jordan Forsythe, who has been magnicent in the right back position,  the chance to rest or move back to his natural position should Billy Joe Burns gets the nod. Aidan Wilson made his comeback after injury in a late cameo on Saturday and could come into the managers plan but he may be kept on the bench if Rodney Brown  keeps his place.  It remains to be seen if Paul Heatley returns after missing the last game through injury but the midfield could all be retained from Saturday with Jordan Owens and Adam Lecky also starting up front if both report fit. Stephen Baxters message will be more of the same and hopefully that will be what will happen.

Coleraine will want to come straight back after a 4-4 draw with Glenavon on Saturday. Definitely missing will be defender Gareth McConaghie who was sent off on Saturday and it will mean a reshuffle at the back for Oran Kearneys team.  Also missing is Eoin Bardley who still serves a suspension. Coleraine still have plenty of players who can change a game.  Stephen Lowry is in fine form and Stewart Nixon has made a great start to his Coleraine career.  Curtis Allen if picked will be the man that Crusaders will have to keep an eye on while Ben Doherty will also pose problems.

So all set for another Danske Bank Premiership battle. Due to Covid restrictions there will be a vastly reduced capacity in Seaview but you can watch on Sky Sports at home. We know you will be with us in spirit so get the Red &Black on in the house and get behind the lads from the start. Kick off is 7.45pm and you can also keep up to date on social media. C'monthe Crues and Keep The Faith.

9th November 2020

Irish Cup Reduced To 32 Teams for 2020-21 Competition

32 teams will compete for this season's 2020-21 Irish Cup because of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, the Irish FA has announced.

The decision to reduce the number of participating clubs was taken by the Irish FA Challenge Cup Committee.

The competition will get underway on 9 January 2021 and involve the 24 clubs from the Premiership and Championship.

The 2019-20 Intermediate Cup semi-finalists and the next four teams in the league pyramid will also compete.

Those final four places will be awarded to the teams ranked highest in last season's league pyramid based on points per game.

The committee said it had assessed the "ongoing impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the early rounds of the Irish Challenge Cup" and unanimously decided to reduce the number of participants in the 2020-21 competition to 32 clubs.

Last season the Irish Cup attracted 130 teams, made up of senior clubs and intermediate clubs, however the committee said today's decision to reduce the number of participating clubs this season was "in the best interests of the competition and with the current social and health situation in mind".

It also said it hoped to return to the traditional cup format in the 2021-22 season.

The traditional format sees intermediate sides compete in four rounds before being joined by the 24 senior clubs in the last 32 (fifth round).

7th November 2020

Second Half Blitz Sees Crusaders Win 4-1

It was the proverbial game of twp halves at todays game when Crusaders travelled to Ballymena Showgrounds to play Ballymena United. Going in one down at half time ehatever was said in the break worked and a storming second half by Crusaders could not have been any different to that of the first.

The first piece of action in the first half came on 4 minutes when Jamie McGonigle had a shot tipped round the post by Ross Glendinning. United hit back and they put on the pressure but Crusaders defence where up to it and dealt with 10 minutes of pressure. It was Jamie McGonigle again who had Crusaders next attempt on goal but his chip over Glendinning this time was cleared for a corner. Adam Lecky missed a great chance to score against his old club when he blazed over the bar from 6 yards and it proved costly when United took the lead just four minutes later. Ex Crusaders player Paul McElroy took a ball in his stride and calmly slotted home from 15 yards to put the home side ahead and Crusaders where playing catch up. Crusaders started to control the game and they where close to an equaliser but Jamie McGonigles shot was saved. As the clock ticked towards 40 minutes United went close with a header while Philip Lowry had a shot blocked that looked to be going in. Crusaders had a late chance before the half ended when Jamie McGonigle stole in at the back post but couldn't finish the move off and it left United 1-0 up at half time.

Whatever Stephen Baxter said at half time certainly had an effct on Crusaders players as they came out with the bit between their teeth. The half was three minuy=tes old when Ross Clarke got the equaliser. United keeper Ross Glendinning looked to have the ball covered at the edge of his box but it squirmed away from him and it left Ross Clarke to steer the ball into the net and make it 1-1. Just four minutes later Crusaders took the lead. Crusaders won a free kick 30 yards out and from it Jordan Forsythe put a great ball into the box and it was met by an unmarked Jordan Owens who powered his header home putting Crusaders ahead.  Both sides had their chances  but Rodney Brown was on hand to stop United getting close while Glendinning again made a crucial save. Jamie McGonigle had a good chance to extend Crusaders lead on 67 minutes but he shot wide while Philip Lowry made his presence felt in defence and cleared when it mattered.  Crusaders where 3-1 up in the 78th minute and you could be forgiven for thinking you had seen it before. Again Crusaders won a free kick 30  yards out and again Jordan Forsythe put a beautiful ball into the box with Jordan Owens meeting it exactly as before and the ball hit the net again. Crusaders where on fire and on 82 minutes it was 4-1. Declan Caddell , who had only been on the pitch 3 minutes ran on to a beautiful through ball and he calmly slotted the ball past Glendinning.  United where struggling as the game came closer to the whistle but Crusaders still had a chance to score from a free kick but Glendinning saved while Jordan Owens nearly completed his hat trick but could not get the ball out of feet. With no further action the ref blew the whistle and Crusaders headed home 3 points heavier.

So a brilliant second half and Stephen Baxter will have been pleased with the response from his side especially with another big game coming up on Tuesday night against Coleraine at Seaview

Team Line up...Sean O'Neill, Chris Hegarty, Philip Lowry, Jamie McGonigle, Jordan Forsythe, Adam Lecky, Michael Ruddy, Jordan Owens, Rodney Brown, Gary Thompson, Ross Clarke

Subs Gerard Doherty, Aidan Wilson, Ben Kennedy, Rory Hale, David Cushley, Declan Caddell, Jarlath O'Rourke

6th November 2020

Match Preview : Ballymena United v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership

Crusaders are off on their travels this week and head up the M2  to play Ballymena United at the Ballymena Showgrounds  on Saturday (3pm) Both sides will be eager to get back to winning ways after defeats last week and as always this should be another intriguing game between the sides Midfield has been t

Although beaten last week Stephen Baxter was still pleased with the performance of his side and we may see little change in the starting XI for this game. Billy Joe Burns still sits on the sidelines as he finishes his three match suspension so Jordan Forsythe should continue to deputise at the back. Another commanding performance by Chris Hegarty at centre half should see him play again while Aidan Wilson could return as his playing partner should he be passed fit. Midfield could be rotated as players continue to get up to playing fitness and we may see Rory Hale and Declan Caddell start after being on the bench last week with possibly Ben Kennedy resting after suffering a slight knock against Linfield.. Adam Lecky and Jordan Owens also started from the bench last week but a change of tactics could see either or both start. Stephen will stress how important a win is already at this early stage as he will want Crusaders to stay within touching distance of Linfield and Larne who stay unbeaten so far after three games.

We always know what to expect from a David Jeffrey side and Saturday will be no different. An opening day Derby win over Coleraine was quickly forgotten after  the two defeats that have followed but they will up for this game and focused on getting three points.  The main threats to Crusaders are Kofi Balmer and Leroy Millar but with talent and experience across the team including Jim Ervin, Ross Redman and Steven McCullough Ballymena United will prove a tough opponent especially at home.

So all set for another Danske Bank Premiership game and although we will not have you with us at the Ballymena Showgrounds you can watch it on https://ballymenaunitedfc.tv/ at a cost of £7.50 Get your Red & Black on and shout at your TV, laptop or mobile phone at get behind the team. C.mon the Crues. Keep The Faith

5th November 2020

Saturdays Game on Ballymenaunitedfc.tv

Ballymena United's new match streaming service ballymenaunitedfc.tv is now live and ready for Saturday’s home game against Crusaders.

You can buy in just a few easy steps 

click ‘Get Access’

create an account

pay with PayPal, or credit/debit Card

 

Matches are priced at £7.50 which includes access to re-runs.

Help is also available at support@ballymenaunitedfc.tv should you have any problems.

30th October 2020

Crusaders Go Down Fighting As They Lose 2-1

Crusaders tonight where beaten 2-1 by Linfield in a game that saw both sides give 100% effort and the home side just edging it by the fnal whistle.

The game started with Linfield pushing hard as expected and both Sean 'Oneill and Chris Hegarty where up too the challenge and kept them at bay.  Linfelds Andy Waterworth had a good chance after 6 minutes but his header went over from a good position. Crusaders first real chance came on 10 minutes when Paul Heatley got himself into the box but his curling shot fell easily to Chris Johns. Sean O'Neill made two quick saves in succession as he reacted to through balls and Jimmy Callacher headed wide from a Linfield free kick. Crusaders came into the game and Paul Heatley and Jamie McGonigle both had shots that where deflected wide just after the 20 minute mark. On the half hour Philip Lowry couldn't keep his shot down as Crusaders started to take control but Linfield pegged them back as both sides exchanged chances. The game took a twist on 40 minutes when Linfield where awarded a penalty. Michael Ruddy found himself on the wrong side of a Conor Ppepper run into the box and as he tried to make up ground was judged to have fouled him and ref Ian McNabb pointed to the spot. Andy Waterworth duely stepped up and cheekily chipped the spot kick home and the home side led 1-0. Linfield pushed on and tried for a second goal but a header just before half time went wide of Sean 'Oneills goal and it was 1-0 at the break.

 

The second half was a quiet affair for the first 10 minutes as both sides where cagey. Linfield started to get a grip but they could not penetrate a well organised Crusaders defence. Just before the hour Jordan Owens was introduced to the game for Crusaders and he made his usual presence felt immediately. Sean O'Neill made a good stop to keep Crusaders in game and then Crusaders introduced Adam Lecky to give Linfield more food for thought.  Keeper Chris Johns made a good save from Jamie McGonigle as he got in behind the Linfield defence on 68 minutes and Jimmy Callacher made several important headed clearances as Crusaders laid seige to the Linfield half. Jordan Owens did well to knock a ball down to Adam Lecky after 73 minutes but Lecky just could not get control of the ball and Rodney Brown had a worrying moment when he faile to clear properly but a fellow defender got it away. With 10 minutes left on the clock David Cushley came on and he nearly made an impact within two minutes when he hit a thunderbolt shot after a free kick was tapped to him but Chris Johns tipped it over the bar for a corner. Jimmy Callacher again was on hand to clear for Linfield as Crusaders kept looking for an equaliser but they where caught by a sucker punch when Nial Quinn got in front of Rodney Brown and headed home a Kirk Millar cross on 84 minutes to make it 2-0 Linfield. Crusaders though came right back at Linfield and another David Cushley long range shot was blocked before Crusaders finally got a goal back on 87 minutes. A wonderful ball crossed in by Jordan Forsythe was met perfectly by Adam Lecky and the new signing scored his first Premiership goal with his head from a fe yards out leaving the game still poised with minutes left.  Crusaders  looked for the equaliser but a Gary Thompson shot could not be kept down and a cross was literally inches to high for Jordan Owens. Linfield managed to recover a their defence held out for the four minutes of added time and where relieved to here the whistle with the game ending 2-1 to Linfield.

A great effort by Crusaders and very unfortunate not to get anything from the game. They now dust themselves down and prepare for the next game which is away to Ballymena United at Ballymena Showgrounds next Saturday 7th November (3pm kick off)

Team Line Up...Sean O'Neill, Chris Hegarty, Philip Lowry, Ben Kennedy, Jamie McGonigle, Jordan Forsythe, Michael Ruddy, Rodney Brown, Gary Thompson, Paul Heatley, Ross Clarke

Subs Gerard Doherty, Rory Hale, David Cushley, Declan Caddell, Jarlath O'Rourke, Adan Lecky, Jordan Owens

29th October 2020

Match Preview ; Linfield v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership

 

We are back in action and live on BBC SportNI website and BBC iPlayer this Friday night when we travel across the city to play Linfield. Both sides are unbeaten after two games in the new Danske Bank Premiership season and as has been the case so many times before we are in for a cracking game between the two sides.

The manner in which Crusaders won last weeks North Belfast Derby will have pleased Stephen Baxter as much as the three points and the message again will be more of the same.  The performance of everyone last time out was superb and it leaves a selection headache for the management team as too who will start. Billy Joe Burns will be missing again as he continues to serve a suspension and several of the players who where on the bench may get a chance to start as Stephen rotates the squad as they play their way into the season. Ben Kennedy will be eager to start after making a cameo appearance last week on his return from injury while Adam Lecky will be ready for action if called on should Jordan Owens be rested. The back four could stay the same after a great game last Friday night but the midfield could have a reshuffle as fresh legs may be needed against a strong Linfield team.  Crusaders will know the epic battles between the two when they meet and this will be no different.

Linfield have scored eight goals in their opening league games but they will also know it will be a different story against Crusaders. David Healy will have be working hard on a plan to win and will look to a host of players that will need to be on top of their game. Goalkeeper Chris Johns has began life with Linfield in great fashion and will be hard to beat while Navid Nasseri and Conor Pepper are showing signs as to why Linfield snatched them from Glentoran. Up front Crusaders will need to watch Andy Waterworth and Jordan Stewart who have both started well this season with Waterworth already claiming a hat trick. 

So all set for another big night in the Danske Bank Premiership and in front of live BBC cameras across the world wide web. We know you can't be with us and the team will miss your support coming from the North Stand. We ask you do get behind us from in front of the TV and shout and sing even though we will not hear you. Let's get behind Stephen and the team from the start. C'mon the Crues and Keep The Faith.

 

23rd October 2020

Crusaders Win North Belfast Derby 1-0

It was a happy Seaview this evening as Crusaders won the first North Belfast of the season 1-0 with Cliftonville heading back home pointless. It was a goal from that man Jordan Owens again that proved the difference bewteen the sides in the second half and we go top of the Danske Bank Premiership for the time being ahead of games on Saturday.

Crusaders started  strongly and Jordan Owens did well to control in the box but no one was on hand to follow up with the shot before Crusaders defence combined to put Conor McMenamin off as he closed in on goal and Sean O'Neill was alert to get in before Joe Gormley had a chance to shoot just a minute later. As the game went on both sides sized each otherup and on 13 minutes Sean O'Neill made a fantastic save when he dived high to his left and tipped the ball past his upright to deny Cliftonville a goal. Chris Hegarty had a chance for Crusaders on 24 minutes but he headed wide and three minutes later Declan Caddell flicked his header wide also from a good Jordan Forsythe cross. Cliftonville rode their luck on the half hour when a Jordan Owens header hit Richard Brush and fell kindly for the visitors defence to clear. It was a typical blood and thunder derby game as both sides did not hold back but the keepers where never really tested as the half continued. The controversial point of the first half came with three minutes left on the clock.  Michael Ruddy got himself in a great position in the Cliftonville box and as he went past keeper Richard Brush to cut the ball home the on rushing Brush clipped Michael Ruddy with his knee and shouts for a penalty could be heard around the ground. Referee Jamie Robinson did not think so on this occasion and actually booked Michael Ruddy for protesting his decision. Live BBC camera replays suggested the referee had got it wrong but nothing could be done. The half ended with Crusaders Philip Lowry missing a good chance from eight yards but the half was called to a halt and it stayed 0-0.

 

 

The second half started like the first with Crusaders being the dominant team. A Paul Heatley shot was easily saved by Richard Brush while Cliftonvilles defence did a good job as Crusaders turned the pressure on but not getting a breakthrogh. Rory Hale replaced the impressive Gary Thompson on 66 minutes and Rory nearly scored with his first touch but Brush produced an acrobatic save and kept the effort out. Within seconds Philip Lowry missed his second good chance of the match when he headed directly at Brush from four yards. but the game changed on 71 munutes when Jordan Owens broke the deadlock. The Cliftonville defence did not clear the ball and as the ball came Richard Brush hesitated in goals for a split second and that was enough for Owens to leap high and beat him to the ball and despite the efforts of two Cliftonville defenders on the line the ball went in sending the home support wild and it was 1-0 Crusaders.  Crusaders kept the pressure on again and nearly got a second within minutes of the first but Cliftonville survived. It was all Crusaders by now and Jamie McGonigle was unlucky on 78 minutes after a good "one two" with Jordan Forsythe. From that the game played out without very few incidents except for a PaulHeatley shot that was saved and a Cliftonville free kick deep in injury time that went well over. 

With that the referee blew his whistle and the game was over with Crusaders collecting the points and bragging rights in North Belfast. Every player played his part in this win and the result gives everyone a massive boost ahead of the Linfield game away next week.

Team Line up...Sean O'Neill, Jordan Forsythe, Chris Hegarty, Rodney Brown, Michael Ruddy, Paul Heatley, Declan Caddell, Gary Thompson, Philip Lowry, Jamie McGonigle, Jordan Owens

Subs Gerard Doherty, David Cushley, Adam Lecky, Ben Kennedy, Rory Hale, Jarlath O'Rourke, Thomas Burns

 

23rd October 2020

Ross Clarke Signs Contract Extension

Crusaders are pleased to announce that Ross Clarke has signed a two year extension to his current contract.

Ross has been exceptional for Crusaders since he signed in June 2018 scoring 15 goals in 82 games played so farincluding an Irish Cup Final goal in 2019. 

Great news to end a perfect week for Crusaders and we look forward to seeing Ross in Red and Black for a few years yet.

22nd October 2020

Match Preview ; Crusaders v Cliftonville Danske Bank Premiership

It is Match Day 2 in the new Danske Bank Premiership season and it comes no bigger than a North Belfast Derby and the chance of bragging rights for a few months but more importantly three points.  Crusaders and Cliftonville go "head to head" on Friday night at Seaview and we are in for a cracker.

Crusaders got off to a great start to the season with a hard fought victory over Warrenpoint Town last Saturday at Milltown where they came away with a 1-0 win. There where good performances all over the park and the new signings blended in well with the old guard and it all looked well. The only down side was the late sending off when Billy Joe Burns was given a straight red  and he will of course miss this game. Stephen Baxter will have to shuffle the back four because of this and may go with Jordan Forsythe who has stepped into this position before with distinction or he may move another dfender in to cover leaving Jordan available for midfield selection. The strong bench we had on Saturday will all be ready to start if anyone is rested but we will get is everyone ready to play their part if called on. Stephen will be looking to build on last week and he will leave the team in no doubt what is expected of them in the derby game.

Cliftonville also had a winning start last week when they defeated Glentoran 1-0 at Solitude. Paddy McLaughlin side won the game courtesy of a late Ryan Curran goal and like Crusaders they will be looking to build on it. They know it will be a typical blood and thunder game as most Crusaders v Cliftonville games are and will set up stop the threat of Jordan Owens and Adam Lecky if either or both play.  Cliftonville are also full of threats and Crusaders will be all to aware of Joe Gormley and Conor McMenamin and their eye for goal.

So we are all set for the first North Belfast Derby of the season. This is an "all ticket" game due to Covid restrictions and only current season ticket holders will receive a ticket. You can though watch it live on the BBC Sport NI website or the BBC iPlayerand we hope you will get behind the lads even if you cannot be in the ground. Kick off is 7.45pm. C,mon the Crues and Keep The Faith

 

 

22nd October 2020

Match day Programme 2020/21

Matchday Programme 2020/21 

 

To ensure that the tradition of producing a matchday programme continues at Seaview in these strange times for local football, the Crusaders Programme Team will be producing a monthly programme for the forthcoming season.

 

The first issue which covers the home games in October and November is now available to purchase. The 36 page issue costs just £3 and will be available at the three home games, where we would ask that those purchasing a copy would have the correct change if possible to keep contact to a minimum. 

 

For those who cannot attend and would like to purchase a copy to be sent out please contact gregbraniff23@gmail.com for more details. 

 

19th October 2020

Special 200 Club Draw Winners

As a thank you to the 200 Club members who continued with their monthly contributions over the last difficult months a special "one off " draw was made and it has made 10 members very happy indeed.

All members who have paid by Direct Debit or Cash members who have fully paid up in advance including all Players and Staff who have generously continued with their monthly payments throughout the year where included in the exclusive draw

The winners are as follows

1st Prize    Davy Downes          No.136    £400

2nd Prize  Michael Long            No.111    £250

3rd Prize   George Smyth         No.117    £175

4th Prize   Catherine Neely     No.115    £100

5th Prize    Declan Caddell       No.239    £100

6th Prize    Bryan Collins           No.188    £100

7th Prize    Philip Lowry             No.126    £100

8th Prize    Chris Hegarty         No.200    £100

9th Prize    Lee Montgomery  No.139    £100

10th Prize Derek Ritchie          No.116    £100

Thanks again and we will let you know how you can get involved and the reasons why the 200 Club is in operation in the coming days. In the meantime we hope the winners enjoy spending their money.

 

19th October 2020

Membership Renewal Reminder

 

With our first home game v Cliftonville fast approaching, anyone looking to renew membership to guarantee tickets for the game this week must to do as soon as possible.

 

Tickets will be issued on Wednesday for this weeks game.

 

For renewals please log in via https://smartclubcloud.com/ with your details.

 

For new memberships please use this link https://crusadersfcshop.com/collections/memberships

 

Any queries please contact cruesgeneralmanager@gmail.com

17th October 2020

Bereavement notice

It is with sadness the Club has learnt of the sad passing of William (Billy) Boyd)  Billy was a life member of the Club and although he had not attended games in recent years he still kept up to date with what was happening at the Club.

On behalf of everyone at Seaview Chairman Ronnie Millar would like to pass on condolences to Billys family and ask we keep his family in our thoughts.

RIP Billy

17th October 2020

Crusaders Start Season With A Win

It was a succesful opening day of the new Danske Bank Premiership season for Crusaders as they defeated Warrenpoint Town at Milltown 1-0 and headed back up the A1 with 3 points. A well taken goal from Paul Heatley early in the game made the difference. 

The game started fairly quietly with Warrenpoint Town shooting over the bar the highlight of the opening minutes as both sides sized each other up. Crusaders finally go into their groove and a good save by Sava in Towns goal on 8 minutes kept the home side side level. That only lasted a minute when Crusaders opened their account. A great slide rule pass by Gary Thompson fell to Paul Heatley who cooly and calmly slotted the ball home from inside the box to make it 1-0 Crusaders after 9 minutes and we where off and running. Crusaders kept the pressure on and went close a few minutes later and had the ball in the net again through Paul Heatley on 19 minutes but he  was ruled marginally offside. Sean O'Neill was called into action after 24 minutes when he came out and gathered the ball well to prevent Town equalising. Paul Heatley looked sharp and was again just offside as he ran in on goal while Sean O'Neill was again called into action and was out smartly to punch a Town cross away. The game was disrupted with a series of silly fouls and free kicks as the game became a real war between the sides but as the half came to an end Crusaders finished strongly with last gasp defending stopping Jordan Owens and Sava tipping over Paul Heatleys cross come shot. The final action of the half saw Sava come out of his goal to stop Ross Clarke shooting and with that the first 45 ended 1-0 Crusaders.

The second half started with Crusaders the brighter side but after Town cleared a goalmouth scramble on 50 minutes the home side then put a lot of pressure on the Crusaders defence when they had to deal with several attacks but they stood strong and equal to the challenge. Town claims for a penalty for handball where turned down on 64 minutes while the referee remained consistent when he turned down a Crusaders penalty claim for a foul after 74 minutes. Sub Jamie McGonigle produced a nice bit of skill when he controlled turned and shot but it went wide and the danger was over.  Town claims for yet another penalty where turned away on 81 minutes while Sava in Towns goal had to have two attempts at saving another Crusaders effort. With moments left in the game Crusaders Billy Joe Burns received his marching orders with a straight red card when he fouled Ryan Swan but minutes later it was over and Crusaders had won despite the late sending off.

A hard fought victory for Crusaders against a "hard to break down" Warrenpoint Town and thoughts now turn immediately to the next Premiership game which is Friday nights North Belfast Derby against Cliftonville at Seaview (7.45pm)

Team Line Up...Sean O'Neill, Billy Joe Burns, Aidan Wilson, Philip Lowry, Declan Caddell, Jordan Forsythe, Jordan Owens, Rodney Brown, Gary Thompson, Paul Heatley, Ross Clarke.

Subs Gerard Doherty, Chris Hegarty, Jamie McGonigle, Rory Hale, David Cushley, Adam Lecky, Michael Ruddy

16th October 2020

Match Preview ; Warrenpoint Town v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership

The Danske Bank Premiership finally gets under way  on Saturday and Crusaders make the trip to Milltown to  play Warrenpoint Town in the opening game.  Although Warrenpoint finished outside the relegation zone last season  in 10th place they always make it hard at home for visiting teams  and Crusaders will want to get a first win on the board so it makes for a good game.

Crusaders will have already put Tuesdays defeat in the Shield out of their minds and the focus for the forseeable future are league games.  Stephen will most certainly make changes for this and several players missing from the last game will come back into contention. Billy Joe Burns willl come back into the squad and be available for selection  and possibly Jarlath O'Rourke could return to the starting XI after being on the bench Tuesday night. Several other players who started on the bench last time out could also begin the game including Paul Heatley. Jamie McGonigle and Jordan Owens (who all came on in the second half on Tuesday night) but again we only speculate as to who will actually start. Stephen Baxter will be looking for for nothing else but a win to get the campaign off to a good start and having been fairly successful down here in recent seasons he will expect that to continue.

Warrenpoint Town have strengthened this season and have made several new signings including goalkeeper Andy Coleman and Gavin Peers and Barry Gray will have his men ready to make a game of it. A good pre season and Mid Ulster Cup progression will give Warrenpoint hope  going into this new season and a top six place is not beyond them if they can gel and get a run together.

So we are all set for another new campaign. This game is strictly by ticket only and they can be purchased at https://warrenpointtownfc.co.uk/tickets/?ftredirect=1&fbclid=IwAR3C7B8CTWtLkyK7eS7AksJ_tbxjbFFWST9KsrfvC1zoPh2HCgZh8M458Gs This is for track and trace reasons and NO cash gate will be available. We need you at Milltown on Saturday to get behind the team. Buy your ticket and be part of the jouney we are about to start again. C'mon the Crues and Keep The Faith.

16th October 2020

200 CLUB UPDATE

On behalf of the Club and as a thank you for your loyal support of the 200 Club over the very difficult times we find ourselves

I will be having a one-off Draw for all members who have stuck with us throughout the year

This has helped the Club greatly with monthly contributions being passed directly to Club

 

All members who have paid by Direct Debit or Cash members who have fully paid up in advance including all Players and Staff who have generously continued with their monthly payments throughout the year will be included in the exclusive draw

with 10 Potential Winners.

Prize Draw

1st Prize £400.00

2nd Prize £250.00

3rd Prize £175.00

 

Plus 6 prizes of £100.00

 

The draw will take place on Sunday 18th October, with a full return to normal in November. 

 

Thank you all for your support,

Mervyn Knox

13th October 2020

Crusaders Beaten In TOALSBET.com Co.Antrim Shield Quarter Final

Crusaders tonight  went out of the TOALSBET.com Co.Antrim Shield at the quarter final stage when they lost heavily 4-0 to Larne at Inver Park. 2 goals each side of half time did the damage and with it the chance to lift the first silverware of the season in a few months.

The game started brightly and both sides looked up for the game. An early shout for a Crusaders penalty was turned down while Aidan Wilson and Gary Thompsons did well in defence to keep Larne from scoring and Adam Leckey went close on 15 minutes when his header just went the wrong side of the post. Crusaders where lucky on 26 minutes when they managed to eventually clear a goalmouth scramble as both sides kept the tempo at a high pace. Larne started to take a firm grip and Ronan Hale had a shot blocked on 32 minutes before Adam Leckey responded a minute later with a turn and shot that went wide from a tight angle. The game though lit up when Larne opened the scoring. A move down the wing resulted in Martin Donnelly receiving the ball, controlling and then scoring from 19 yards into the top corner leaving Gerard Doherty no chance. Crusaders where then hit with a second goal just 4 minutes later. A corner came in and Albert Watson powered a header home at the back post and it was 2-0 Larne in a half that had been evenly based just minutes before. With no further action the half ended 2-0 Larne.

 

The second half started like the first ended with another Larne goal after 2 minutes. The ball was passed into the box and Rodney Brown was alleged to half tripped a Larne player in the box and the ref although he had waved play on decided to change his mind to award a penalty. When things calmed down Andy Mitchell stepped up and slotted the ball home to make it 3-0 Larne after 48 minutes. Paul Heatley tried to hit back but his cross was cut out by Conor Devlin and within two minutes Crusaders went 4-0 behind. This time a quick counter attack saw a ball played in behind Rodney Brown and Ronan Hale ran in and clipped the ball over Gerard Doherty from close range. 4-0 behind after 51 minutes Crusaders tried to get back into the game but Declan Caddell and Adam Leckey did not test Conor Devlin when chances fell their way. Both sides kept going and Ross Clarke crashed a lomg range effort off the post before sub Jordan Owens spurned a great chance when he headed directly at Conor Devlin when in a good position. Gerard Doherty made a good save with 10 minutes to go and as the game came to an end Jordan Forsythe had two efforts that where off target. The ref soon after blew the whistle to end the game and Crusaders where out of the Shield. Crusaders will put the disappointment behind them and now look to the opening game of the Danske Bank Premiership season against Warrenpoint Town at Milltown on Saturday 17th

13th October 2020

Live SKY Sports Double Header Announced

The NI Football League can confirm the first two Danske Bank Premiership matches to be broadcast live on Sky Sports this season.

Three title challengers will do battle over two games in four days next month in front of a UK audience as Coleraine travel to Crusaders and then later in the same week welcome champions Linfield to the Ballycastle Road.

Tuesday 10 November - Crusaders v Coleraine (kick-off: 7.45pm)

Saturday 14 November – Coleraine v Linfield (kick-off: 12pm)


The two games are the first of five live Danske Bank Premiership fixtures on Sky Sports in the 2020/21 campaign.

12th October 2020

50 live streamed games on BBC Sport NI


BBC Sport NI has agreed a contract with the Irish FA and the NI Football League to live-stream 50 matches over the course of the upcoming Danske Bank Premiership season.


The games will be streamed on the BBC Sport Northern Ireland website bbc.co.uk/sportni and on BBC iPlayer.


It will be the first time that Danske Bank Premiership fixtures have been streamed live and will mean that games will be available to fans in Northern Ireland unable to go to matches due to the ongoing restrictions caused by the COVID19 pandemic.


BBC Northern Ireland will also show 12 live matches from the Danske Bank Premiership and Irish Cup on television as well as live TV coverage of the 2021 Irish Cup Final.


In addition, BBC Sport NI will have live radio commentary on Saturday afternoons from 2pm – 6pm on Sportsound as well as producing the Danske Bank Premiership highlights programme for BBC iPlayer.


With the varied football schedule and the challenges of COVID19, BBC Sport NI will pause production of Final Score for this season.


Executive Editor of BBC Sport NI, Neil Brittain, said:
“We know that it is going to be a challenging season for clubs as well as fans, so we felt it was important that we collaborated with the Irish FA, NIFL and the clubs to offer a different service this year.


“The result is that with 12 matches on BBC TV and 50 matches live-streamed on the BBC Sport NI website we will be bringing more live football to football fans than ever before.


“We always want to make the most of what we can do for our audiences and we hope that we have achieved a positive result for everyone involved.”

 

OCTOBER MATCH SCHEDULE

  • Friday October 16 – Coleraine v Ballymena United – 7.45pm

  • Saturday October 17 – Glenavon v Portadown – 5.30pm

  • Friday October 23 – Crusaders v Cliftonville – 7.45pm

  • Saturday October 24 – Ballymena United v Linfield – 5.30pm

  • Friday October 30 – Linfield v Crusaders – 7.45pm

11th October 2020

Toalsbet.com Co Antrim Shield QF Ticket Update

LARNE FC  v CRUSADERS FC

Tuesday 13th October 2020

7.45pm KO @ Inver Park

Larne FC have confirmed that Crusaders supporters will be located in the Church End with a limited number of tickets available from 8pm on Sunday evening.

Tickets available via this link: https://www.larnefc.com/tickets/ 

11th October 2020

Bereavement notice

Crusaders FC Board, players and staff send their thoughts and prayers to the family of Raymond Buchanan who sadly passed away last month.

 

Raymond was a Senior member.

Rest in peace.

4th June 2019 

10th October 2020

Toalsbet.com Co Antrim Shield RD1 Result

CRUSADERS FC 2-0 H&W WELDERS

Ben Kennedy (pen) 7'

Ben Kennedy (pen) 19'

Crusaders will now travel to Larne on Tuesday 13th October, 7.45pm KO at Inver Park for the Quarter Final.

Tickets for Crusaders supporters will be limited with supporters located in the Church End.

More details to follow

 10th October  2020 

Crusaders Safely through in TOALSBET.com Co.Antrim Shield 1st Rd

 

 

 

Crusaders got back to competitive action at last on Saturday 10th October when they defeated Championship side H&W Welders at Seaview in the TOALSBET.com Co.Antrim Shield 1st Round. Crusaders as expected started strongly and Ross Clarke had the first attempt on goal but his shot was blocked. Crusaders where awarded a penalty in the 7th minute and new signing Ben Kennedy opened his account for Crusaders with a well taken spot kick and it was 1-0. Jordan Owens headed straight at the Welders keeper Joe McGovern and Aidan Wilson flicked his header wide as Crusaders put pressure on but it was from the spot again that they doubled the lead. A foul again on Ross Clarke saw Ben Kennedy get a second chance from the spot and he converted successfully again making it 2-0 after 19 minutes. It was all Crusaders but Rory Hale shot wide from distance, a Jordan Owens header went straight to the keeper again,  Ross Clarke shot was deflected wide and the Welders keeper nearly dropped a simple catch into the net With no further goals it was 2-0 at half time.

 

 

 

 

 

The second half was minutes old when there was a claim for another Crusaders penalty but it was turned down this time. A rare H&W Welders attack saw Michael McLellan try and chip Gerard Doherty but his effort went wide on 50 minutes. Adam Lecky missed a chance to open his Crusaders account when the ball came off his knee and went wide before Billy Joe Burns side footed blast went not too wide of the post. Crusaders kept going forward but chance after chance went by and another rare attack by the opposition saw Gerard Doherty easily save Charlie Dornans header while Billy Joe Burns again went close but his shot from close range went high and wide. Joe McGovern made a great save from David Cushley with 5 minutes left and with no further action of note the whistle blew and Crusaders progressed in the TOALSBET.com Co Antrim Shield to play Larne in the Quarter Final at Inver Park on Tuesday 13th October (7.45pm)

9th October 2020

Tickets for our game v Warrenpoint Town (Saturday 17th October) are now on sale via this link https://warrenpointtownfc.co.uk/tickets/

Due to restrictions related to COVID-19 tickets are limited.

 

If you DO NOT have a ticket please do not travel to the game.

Please respect the safety measures put in place by Warrenpoint Town for spectators, players & officials.

9th October 2020

The club members unanimously agreed the following membership subscriptions for the 2020/21 season.

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) £20

The members also unanimously decided to adopt a collegiate approach to ticketing this season to ensure fairness in ticketing arrangements.


With the present capacity of Seaview reduced to 460, not all members will be able to attend all games.


Our home games will be split into three categories;
CAT A - Cliftonville, Glentoran and Linfield 
CAT B - Ballymena, Coleraine and Larne
CAT C - all other league ties

All members (including new members) will be treated equally and will receive tickets on a rolling register basis for each individual category.


Tickets are non transferable and can be used by the member only. Anyone in breach of this will have their membership cancelled.


Members who cannot attend a game that they receive a ticket for should contact the General Manager on cruesgeneralmanager@gmail.com  to surrender their ticket which will be made available to another member again on the rolling category basis.  This will mean they will move up the register for the next game in the same category.


Members who miss out on a match ticket will be offered tickets for the Danny Hale Suite and The McDonald Centre where the game will be televised on large screens again on a rolling category basis.


Members who miss out on either match tickets or Danny Hale / McDonald Centre tickets will receive access to a live stream for each game.


Going on previous years levels of membership and attendance trends it is likely that members will miss one in 4 of the category C games, one in three of the category B games and one in two of the category A games.


Members can renew their membership now online https://smartclubcloud.com/ or in Harry D's from 11.30 am to 10.30pm seven days a week.


Supporters who wish to become members can do so online https://crusadersfcshop.com/collections/memberships 

and via the online shop you can avail of our partnership with Klarna and spread the cost of membership. 

In Light of the above restrictions it was unanimously agreed that all members will receive a credit on their smart card equivalent to 20% of their subscription, that is £30 per full member, £14 per senior member, £8 per junior member and £4 per primary school member.

No match day tickets will be made available to non members due to the crowd restrictions.


Members are advised that they are paying a non refundable subscription regardless of any future crowd restrictions or curtailment. 

The members also agreed that streams of all non televised games would be made available to non members at a cost of £10 per game.
 

Crusaders Football Club are now in a position to announce a list of pre season friendlies. We hope you can make some if not all as Stephen Baxter and his management team begin prep for the season ahead. It is certainly a wide variety of opposition from every level and it will give the lads a good start before the new Danske Bank Premiership season begins in August. The games are as follows.

Saturday 22nd June Away v Loughgall FC (3pm)

Wednesday 26th June Home v Motherwell FC (7.45pm)

Saturday 29th June Home v Ards (3pm)

Thursday 4th July Home v Portadown (7.45pm)

Saturday 6th July Home v Maiden City (3pm)

Saturday 13th July Home v Rangers XI (Declan Caddells Testimonial 3pm) Tickets online via club website

Also in there are the two Europa League Qualifiers on Thursday 11th & 18th July (teams yet to be confirmed)

23rd May 2019 

Billy McCord has been named Crusaders Super Fan 2018/19 at an NI Football League awards ceremony this week at the National Stadium at Windsor Park.

It’s the second year of the Danske Bank Premiership SuperFan Awards, which were launched to recognise supporters who go the extra mile for their clubs – the life blood of the Danske Bank Premiership.

Billy McCord epitomises everything about the local game. A role model with real conviction, passion and loyalty to his club – from Seaview to Lurgan, Scotland to Slovenia, he wouldn’t miss supporting his team in the most positive way possible. As an older fan, he brings the club together and ensures his traditions and morals continue on, from getting his daughter to knit red and black blankets for half the main stand, to sweets for the kids – he makes going to matches so much fun.

SuperFan nominations closed on 10th April 2019, with over 300 entries received across all 12 Premiership clubs.

Well done Billy from everyone at Seaview.

26th April 2019 

 A RANGERS XI will travel to Belfast on Saturday, July 13 (3pm KO) for Crusaders’ player Declan Caddell’s testimonial.

Caddell has played over 400 games across 12 years for the NIFL Premiership side, and Gers will mark the occasion by sending a side to Seaview Stadium for a 3pm kick-off.

Rangers head of academy Craig Mulholland said: "We are delighted to be returning to Northern Ireland to participate in Declan’s testimonial and look forward to exposing our young lads to a great test against Crusaders. Rangers have a fantastic and loyal supporters base in Northern Ireland and it is great that we can bring some of our exciting young talent to them and they can see a Rangers team on their doorstep. I am sure it will be an entertaining and competitive match and we look forward to playing in front of a big crowd to reward Declan for his long service to Crusaders.”

Caddell, who came through the youth ranks at Crusaders, said: "I am absolutely delighted to have Rangers FC over for my testimonial year. I would like to thank those at Rangers who worked so hard to make this game possible. Rangers are a massive club and I appreciate the effort and time taken to cater for me on my year of celebration. I'm sure it will be a great spectacle not only for Crusaders fans who have given me great support over the past 12 years but also for Rangers fans throughout Northern Ireland during the July Bank Holiday weekend. I look forward to welcoming Rangers to Seaview and I'm sure it will be a great day for all attending."

Tickets for the game go on sale at 9am on Saturday 27th April from Crusaders online ticket office. Tickets are priced at £15 Adult & £10 Concessions.

A limited number of tickets are also available for a Pre-Match Lunch and Q&A with Rangers legend Mark Hatley. The event arranged by Declan Caddell's Testimonial Committee will be hosted in the Hospitality Suite of the McDonald Centre and starts at 1.00pm sharp. Tickets are priced at £50 per person and include a 2 Course lunch & Match Ticket with full bar facilities also available.

10th April 2019 

Check out the new menu being served in Harry D's Lounge.

 

Available all day with a special deal between 12-3pm !

 

Between 12-3pm each day we will have the 'High 5' where all options are just £5.....yes £5!!! 😋


Come down to Seaview for a great feed. You will not leave disappointed 👍

Crusaders Football Club

Seaview Stadium

St Vincent Street

Belfast

BT15 3QG

t: +44 (0)2890 370777

e: generalmanager@crusadersfc.com

©2020 by Crusaders Football Club. All rights reserved.