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David Rainey ( 1)
Chris Morrow (28)

2

Gary McCutcheon (39p)
Davy Munster (55)

2

Johnny Taylor and David Rainey (Picture: Stephen Hamilton/PressEye.com)

EARLY BIRD CRUES FORCED TO HANG ON FOR A POINT

CRUSADERS squandered an early lead at Seaview to hold on for a point at the end.

David Rainey fired the Crues into the lead after just 27 seconds. He pounced on a sloppy backpass by United defender Aaron Stewart to take the ball round 'keeper Dwayne Nelson and into the empty net.

Gareth McKeown might twice have added a second only to see one header disappear into the side netting before while a later 18-yard drive was tipped over.

But the Crues did double their advantage on 28 minutes when, from a Stuart Dallas corner, Chris Morrow drove the ball home.

The visitors pulled a goal back on 39 minutes. Referee Colin Burns awarded a penalty following a Paul Leeman handball with leading scorer Gary McCutcheon duly converting.

And the Sky Blues levelled ten minutes after the break after a low Rory Carson cross was touched past Sean O'Neill by David Munster.

Crusaders finished the game with ten men following Ciaran Gargan's 80th minute dismissal for a challenge on Gavin Taggart.

The visitors might have snatched all three points late in the game when a McCutcheon effort was kept out while Stephen McBride blocked Carson's follow-up.

Referee:

Attendance: 679

Tags:  Crusaders