IRISH LEAGUE: Nine-man Crusaders rescue a point at Coleraine

.'Coleraine's Adam Mullan in action with Crusaders Paul Heatley
.'Coleraine's Adam Mullan in action with Crusaders Paul Heatley

CRUSADERS 1 COLERAINE 1

Stephen O’Flynn came on to score a last minute goal for the visitors, who had Paul Heatley and Jordan Forsythe dismissed, to cancel out James McLaughlin’s goal for Coleraine.

It was a pretty ordinary start to the game as both sides struggled to find their rhythm.

There was 18 minutes gone before the visitors registered a shot on goal as Gavin Whyte tried his luck from distance, Michael Doherty safely gathered his snapshot though.

Coleraine responded with Rodney Brown drawing a good save out of Sean O’Neill from Darren McCauley’s cross on 24 minutes.

Coleraine had Stephen Douglas to thank for keeping the scores level as half time approached.

The veteran defender was superbly placed to head Forsythe’s point blank effort off the line as the wide man had redirected Whyte’s misplaced shot on target on 36 minutes.

From the corner as the home defence dallied Paul Heatley fired off a shot, which Doherty did well to palm away.

The Bannsiders should have taken the lead on 40 minutes as McCauley slipped in McGonigle to race clear, but the young striker’s shot was blocked by the legs of O’Neill.

Within seconds Crusaders were reduced to ten men as Heatley was shown a straight red card following an off the ball clash with Lyndon Kane.

Coleraine threw on striker James McLaughlin at the start of the second half and what a change it proved to be as he broke the deadlock on 64 minutes.

He found the target with a header after O’Neill could only palm out Harkin’s initial effort.

Things went from bad to worse for the Crues with 20 minutes to go as they were reduced to nine men.

Jordan Forsythe was the man to be given his marching orders this time for a late challenge on that man Lyndon Kane again.

Just when it looked as though the Crues were heading towards defeat up stepped Substitute Stephen O’Flynn to draw his side level. The Bannsiders gave away a needless free kick from which Coates headed back across goal for O’Flynn to head home in the 89th mninute.

Coleraine: Doherty, Beverland, Mullan, Douglas (McLaughlin 46), McCauley (Law 79), Harkin, Brown, Canning, Lyons, Kane, McGonigle.

Subs: Watt, Parkhill, Falconer.

Goal: McLaughlin (64)

Crusaders: O’Neill, Burns, McClean, Coates, Robinson, Heatley, Owens, Whyte (Mitchell 67), Clarke (O’Flynn 83), Snoddy, Forsythe.

Subs: McKibbin, Molloy, O’Carroll, O’Flynn.

Red cards: Heatley (40), Forsythe (70).

Goal: O’Flynn (89)

Referee: Keith Kennedy