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Danske Bank Premiership

Crusaders 1 Ards 0

For the second time this season Crusaders delivered a killer blow right at the end as David Cushley’s deflected strike won the points for the home side.

Ards had looked poised to put a dent in Crusaders’ recent run of fine form, but with seconds of the game remaining, Aaron Hogg was finally beaten when Cushley’s low strike from just outside the box left the keeper flat footed to seal the match for the Crues.

Early on in the day Crusaders’ Michael Carvill had a decent opening for his side when he received the ball on the right of the area and cut in to strike a half volley that flew narrowly past the far upright. Jordan Owens came closer still for the home side when he met a cross from the left and directed a header off the face of the Ards crossbar.

For Ards Kyle Cherry made home keeper Sean O’Neill work with a 20 yard effort that bounced awkwardly in front of the stopper and later David McAllister sent shot wide of the Crusaders goal. McAllister’s contribution to the game would prove to be a brief one as he withdrew through injury on 32 minutes, giving way to Ross Arthurs who came on against his former club to make his 200th Ards appearance.

At the start of the second half a run by Gavin Whyte saw him cut the ball back form the by-line for Paul Heatley and he struck a low volley just past the Ards goal.

While Ards were doing well to frustrate the league leaders at the back, up top Ross Arthurs forced O’Neill into a great stop when he hammered in a shot from 15 yards after a pull back from the goal line from Carl McComb.

McComb would pass up a great opportunity of his own not long after when a short cross from Joe McKinney found the substitute six yards out but McComb couldn’t direct his shot.

Just as the game looked to be heading for a scoreless draw, Gavin Whyte set off on a run towards the Ards goal, laying the ball off for Owens. He in turn found Cushley just outside the area and his low drive would take a glancing touch on its way through the penalty area to wrong foot Hogg and secure all three points for his team.

19th November 2016


18 Aaron Hogg, 25 Emmet Friars (capt.), 4 Stuart McMullan, 5 Johnny Taylor, 2 Greg Hall, 6 David McCullough, 20 Kyle Cherry, 10 Joe McKinney, 7 Craig McMillen, 11 David McAllister, 40 Jamie Douglas


3 Michael Ruddy (for McMillen 80), 8 Ross Arthurs (for McAllister 32), 16 Gareth Tommons, 17 Carl McComb (for Douglas 64), 38 Fra Brennan


Ross Dunlop


McCullough (42), Cherry (79), Taylor (87)



Match highlights (BBC Sport NI)