Carrick Rangers 0 Crusaders 1
Crusaders Philip Lowry celebrates scoring with Jude Winchester
Crusaders got back to winning ways with Philip Lowry’s goal at the end of the first half enough to give them victory at the Loughview Leisure Arena.
After defeat at Cliftonville and being held to a draw by Newry City, it was a welcome boost for boss Stephen Baxter, but after winning the last three games between the teams by an aggregate of 15-0 they never threatened a repeat.
Indeed, it was Carrick who dominated the first half hour and they squandered a golden chance to take the lead after just six minutes when Ben Tilney went off on one of his mazy runs which took him into the penalty box where his heels were clipped by Billy Joe Burns.
Referee Ian McNabb immediately pointed to the spot but David Cushley’s spot-kick was straight at Jonny Tuffey, who made a comfortable save.
It was Tilney who had Carrick’s next effort on goal, a shot from 25 yards but again it was straight at Tuffey who was happy to punch it away. Three minutes later, Danny Purkis created an opening and this time his goal-bound shot forced a spectacular one-handed save from Ross Glendinning.
Crusaders were enjoying plenty of possession but their attacks were repeatedly halted by the offside flag. However, when the trap failed, it almost proved Carrick’s downfall. Paul Heatley latched on to Jordan Forsythe’s long ball and his shot across the goal was heading for the far corner but Ross Glendinning got a vital fingertip touch to deflect it for a corner.
The breakthrough came in the final minute of the first-half with Heatley finding Jarlath O’Rourke, who helped the ball onto Lowry and the free-scoring midfielder with a delicious curling effort found the corner ofRead on belfasttelegraph.co.uk