Thomas Murray (58)


Steven McCullough (OG) (39)
David Cushley (43)
Paul Heatley (68)
Philip Lowry (89)


Gareth McKeown tussles for possession with David Cushley (Picture: Stephen Hamilton/


Crusaders brought their goal tally for the season into double figures after just two games with this comprehensive away win over Carrick Rangers.

The Crues might have moved in front after just five minutes when Paul Heatley got on the end of a long Howard Beverland through ball but, despite getting in behind the defence, he couldn't keep his shot on target.

Stephen Baxter's side enjoyed a prolonged period of pressure but met with a resolute Carrick defence - until the 39th minute when a Declan Caddell cross from the right was turned into his own net by defender Steven McCullough.

Then, on 43 minutes, David Cushley made it 2-0 with a low 25-yard drive in off the bottom of the post.

Carrick were given some hope just before the hour mark when, following a nice build-up, the ball fell for T.J. Murray on the edge of the box to send a low curling effort past Sean O'Neill into the bottom corner.

But that hope faded on 66 minutes when they were reduced to ten men following Seanan Foster's second booking for obstruction on Heatley.

And Heatley himself rubbed salt in their wounds moments later with a third goal for the Crues after pouncing on a defensive mistake.

Crusaders almost added a fourth as the game moved into the final quarter-of-an-hour when Cushley saw an effort deflected onto the woodwork before almost scoring direct from the subsequent corner.

Number four did arrive moments from the final whistle when Philip Lowry nipped in to lift the ball over Neeson and in off the underside of the bar.

Carrick Rangers: Neeson, McKeown, McNally, Clarke, McCullough, Foster, McNicholl, McCaul, Hanley, Murray, Lavery subs Rice (replaced McCaul 81), English (replaced McNicholl 85), Taggart (not used), Kelly (not used), Morrow (replaced Lavery 75)

Crusaders: O'Neill, Burns, Beverland, Gault, McClean, Whyte, Heatley, Cushley, Owens, Forsythe, Caddell subs Clarke (replaced Caddell 79), Lowry (replaced Cushley 80), Vauls (not used), Carvill (replaced Heatley 82), Soares (not used)

Referee: Evan Boyce

Attendance: 792

Tags:  Carrick Rangers  Crusaders