IRISH LEAGUE: Coleraine put a dent in Crusaders title bid


Saturday, 25th March 2017, 4:55 pm
Updated Monday, 27th March 2017, 1:18 pm
Coleraine's Eoin Bradley celebrates after netting from the spot. Stephen Hamilton / Press Eye

Eoin Bradley's first half penalty gave Coleraine their first league win over Crusaders since 2014.

The front man slotted home from the spot on 15 minutes to give the Bannsiders a deserved win over the league leaders.

The hosts made a solid start and broke the deadlock in side 15 minutes.

A long free into the Crues box from Ciaron Harkin came off Bradley's chest before striking Howard Beverland on the hand.

Referee Andrew Davey had no hesitation in pointing to the spot and Bradley colly slotted past Sean O'Neill.

The visitors carved out a opening of their own on 22 minutes as Alan Kean dinked a ball across the face of goal, bu Michael Carvill's looping header was saved.

O'Neill reacted well to push away Adam Mullan's cross-cum-shot three minutes later.

Jordan Owens produced a great defensive header to deny David Ogilby a certain goal on 29 minutes after his centre back partner Gareth McConaghie had picked him out at the back post.

Within a minute the big striker was threatening at the other end as he had a header blocked by McConaghie before Kean picked him out with another great cross which Owens headed over.

The Bannsiders went close to doubling their lead on 62 minutes as a long punt from Chris Johns was misjudged by the Crues defence, McLaughlin raced clear but his snap shot flew across the face of goal and just past the far post.

Coleraine had their keeper to thank for keeping them on front on 64 minutes as Kane's fluffed clearance teed up Carvill in front of goal, Johns though produced a great reaction save to block the shot with an outstretched leg.

It was frantic in the closing stages as the hosts had an appeal for a penalty waved away before Jamie McGonigle had O'Neill at full stretch with a powerful effort.

Ian Parkhill fizzed a shot just over on 88 minutes after good build up from McCauley and McGonigle.

Deep in stoppage time man of the match Chris Johns produced a stunning one-handed save to deny Jordan Forsythe.