Richard Copeland and Philip Lowry tussle for the ball (Picture: Stephen Hamilton/PressEye.com)
Tuesday, 30 August 2016
Crusaders progressed to the next round of the Northern Ireland League Cup following this straightforward defeat of Loughgall at Seaview.
Declan Caddell fired the Crues in front after six minutes with a well struck effort with the outside of his right foot into the top corner of the net.
Jordan Owens might have added a second on 17 minutes only to send a header wide of the target from a Paul Heatley cross.
However, the Crues did double their lead six minutes after that when the ball dropped kindly for Heatley and he responded with a powerful volley into the roof of the net.
Loughgall's task became even more difficult a couple of minutes from the break when they suffered the dismissal of Richard Copeland for a professional foul on Heatley.
Stephen Baxter's side might have extended their advantage four minutes into the second half only for Villagers 'keeper Gareth Buchanan to save Andy Mitchell's spot-kick, awarded after Caddell had been fouled in the area.
And Mitchell came close again a short time after that but was thwarted when his shot cannoned back off the crossbar before rebounding to safety.
Loughgall pulled a goal back on 65 minutes through Jack Upritchard with a well directed shot from distance that crept just inside the post.
But Crusaders looked to restore their two goal cushion, almost managing it when Richard Clarke hit the bar before, with 11 minutes left, Michael Carvill did add a third with a curling shot beyond Buchanan from a tight angle.
Crusaders: O'Neill, Beverland, Coates, Mitchell, Lowry, Cushley, Caddell, Clarke, Owens, Vauls, Heatley subs Burns (not used), Soares (replaced Owens 86), Carvill (replaced Cushley 77), Forsythe (not used), Holden (replaced Lowry 60)
Loughgall: Buchanan, Devlin, Taylor, Copeland, Hudson, Dallas, Upritchard, Ferguson, Mullen, Canning, Mallen subs McMaster (replaced Upritchard 81), McCann (replaced Canning 48), Stretton (not used), Elliott (not used), Uprichard (replaced Mullen 75)
Referee: Chris Morrison