CO ANTRIM SHIELD: David Cushley sparkles for Crusaders

Crusaders David Cushley celebrates after his first goal against PSNI.

Crusaders David Cushley celebrates after his first goal against PSNI.

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There was just no stopping David Cushley at Seaview.

The striker struck twice to help Crusaders claim a place in the final of the Toals County Antrim Shield, where they will now face Linfield in the New Year.

They were pushed all the way by PSNI in a 4-2 success.

The Crues roared from the blocks and were in front after only four minutes. Michael Carvill made ground on the right before cutting the ball back for Cushley to drill home.

Carvill was only inches away from delivering a second goal on 25 minutes. He just failed to touch home a Cushley header following a wonderful cross from Andrew Mitchell.

The visitors threatened for the first time 11 minutes from the interval when Joe McWilliams’ shot was blocked by Billy Joe Burns.

However, PSNI levelled on 42 minutes when Lukasz Adamczyk’s low drive was beaten away by Sean O’Neill, but Moody was ideally place to roll home the follow-up.

But the Championship side buckled within 60 seconds. Jordan Forsythe whipped in a teasing cross from the right which was met by Carvill and his near post flick left David Harrison helpless.

PSNI were level again after 52 minutes. O’Neill was at fault after charging from his line without any hope of making contact with the ball. Andrew Blackledge crossed for McDowell to slip home.

But that man Cushley struck again on 80 minutes. He was flattened by a robust challenge from Blackledge 20 yards out, but the striker dusted himself down to hammer a free kick past Harrison.

Paul Heatley then blasted home a Gavin Whyte cross deep into injury time to cap the win.

Crusaders: O’Neill, Burns, Beverland (Roohi 87), Mitchell, Carvill (Owens 72), Cushley, Caddell (Whyte 46), Forsythe, Clarke, Heatley, Kerr.

Unused subs: Dougherty, Jallow, Smith.

PSNI: Harrison, Blackledge, McCullagh, McDermott, Wright, Berry (McCrory 73), Moody, Hutchinson, Adamczyk, McDowell (anderson 83), McWilliams.

Unused subs: Wright, Kirk.

Referee: Evan Boyce (Ballygowan).