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Tennent’s Irish Cup, round 5

Crusaders 2 Ards 0

It’s Crusaders who go onto the next round of the Irish Cup as a first half own goal by Emmet Friars and a strike from Michael Carvill gave them victory at Seaview.

In reaching the sixth round of the cup, the Shore Road men recorded a second victory of the week over Ards, whose poor record in the blue ribbon competition continued. Ards have now been eliminated at the fifth round stage in seven out of the last eight years.

Just as they had done in Tuesday night’s league match Crusaders rattled the Ards woodwork early on. Gavin’s Whyte’s cross in from the right side got caught between a couple of Ards defenders, sending the ball spinning up against the bar before Aaron Hogg made a save from Jordan Owens, who was following up.

The day’s opening goal then arrived with 20 minutes played. Whyte was involved again - releasing the ball to Jordan Forsythe, who in turn fed Craig McClean on the left with his driven cross from the edge of the box was put through his own goal by the unfortunate Emmet Friars.

The Ards response came from striker Guillaume Keke, who opened space for himself in the middle of the park before driving a low shot at goal from about 30 yards that Sean O’Neill got down low to push around his post.

Ten minutes before the break Crusaders struck their second goal. A bit of chip and chase from Michael Carvill saw him break into the Ards box where he got the better of Johnny Taylor before firing past Hogg from a tight angle on the left.

The opening of the second half saw Crusaders continue to threaten a third goal, and after going close on a couple of occasions, Owens was left cursing the woodwork again as his shot from 20 yards clipped the corner piece of the goal.

Ards stepped up their own efforts after that and were unlucky not to put a mark on the scoresheet before the day was out. From a McAllister cross on the left substitute Gary Liggett crashed a header against the crossbar from a matter of yards and then just a minute later Liggett ran onto a through pass from David McCullough only to shoot narrowly wide.

On 75 minutes it was Liggett again who went close for Ards, this time connecting with a Jordan Hughes cross only for the crossbar to deny him once more.

As Ards continued to pile pressure on the Crues goal, Liggett might have still helped himself to a couple of goals. From another Hughes pass, the striker found himself with the ball at his feet inside the area, only to be denied by a stop from O’Neill. In the closing moments Liggett went close again, this time getting placing another header just off target, as the Crusaders net held firm to set up a next round clash with PSNI.

7th January 2017


18 Aaron Hogg, 38 Fra Brennan, 25 Emmet Friars (capt.), 5 Johnny Taylor, 3 Michael Ruddy, 12 Jordan Hughes, 20 Kyle Cherry, 16 Gareth Tommons, 11 David McAllister, 17 Carl McComb, 19 Guillaume Keke


4 Stuart McMullan, 6 David McCullough (for Tommons 44), 8 Ross Arthurs (for Cherry 65), 9 Gary Liggett (for Keke 60), 21 Callum Byers


Lee Tavinder





Match highlights (BBC Sport NI)