HomeFootballCrusaders clinch European football with injury time win over Coleraine

Crusaders clinch European football with injury time win over Coleraine

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Crusaders ensured that Stephen Baxter will lead the club into European football at the end of his career in the Seaview hotseat with a dramatic win over Coleraine in Monday’s European play-off.

Declan Caddell will take over the reins for the new domestic season, but Baxter’s time in the Crusaders dugout will extend to their European campaign thanks to Jordan Owens’s injury time winner at Seaview.

Coleraine got off to a dream start at Seaview when Jamie McGonigle put them into the lead after four minutes when he got the end of a flick on from Matthew Shevlin to drill in a low shot from a tight angle.

The Crues pushed hard for an equaliser and eventually levelled on 35 minute through full-back Jarlath O’Rourke.

Paul Heatley controlled a long pass before offloading to O’Rourke on the overlap and he stroked to the ball into the bottom corner with right foot.

At a minute later, the home side were in front when a free kick from Jordan Forsythe was floated into the box.

The Coleraine defence struggled to clear and Daniel Larmour pounced to find the back of the net via a deflection to give Crusaders a 2-1 half-time lead.

The sides were level again in the 70th minute when the ball fell to Josh Carson 25 yards out and he fired a stunning left foot shot into the top left corner of Johnny Tuffey’s goal.

The Crues had the ball in the net two minutes later but Adam Lecky’s headed effort from a Forsythe cross was ruled offside.

Ross Clarke had a great chance to win it for the home side but he saw his effort brilliantly tipped over the bar by Rory Brown in the Coleraine goal.

As the game looked to be going to extra-time, Crusaders took the lead in stoppage time. Jordan Forsyth’s first shot was mis-shit and his second effort looked to helped into the net by Jordan Owens.

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