CRUSADERS 1 COLERAINE 1
COLERAINE snatched a spirited point in controversial circumstances at Seaview.
Curtis Allen converted an 82nd-minute penalty after Crusaders defender Josh Robinson had handled inside the box in a moment of bizarre confusion.
Referee Tim Marshall pointed to the spot after overruling his assistant who had flagged for an offside decision on Allen moments earlier.
Cue scenes of pendemonium as Crusaders’ players vented their anger - as it transpired Bannsiders striker Allen was onside as he received the ball from the head of Crusaders defender David Magowan.
Crusaders had taken the lead in the 19th minute with a well-executed opener.
A cross from the left was nodded back across goal by Timmy Adamson, and Gary McCutcheon was on hand to pass for Jordan Owens to tap home from six yards.
The home side were reduced to 10 men in the 67th minute - Gareth McKeown receiving a second yellow and then red for a foul on Stephen Lowry.
The drama then unfolded eight minutes from time.
Allen struck the Crues crossbar with a venomous shot, and despite the flag being raised on the far side of the ground referee Marshall played on until Robinson’s indiscretion.
Allen stepped up to thunder his shot straight down the middle to rescue a point for the Bannsiders.
CRUSADERS: O’Neill, McKeown, McClean, Robinson, Magowan, Caddell, Watson, Adamson, McCutcheon (Gibson 69), Owens, Heatley.
Subs not used: Rainey, McMaster, Snoddy, McBride.
COLERAINE: Doherty, Beverland, Hegarty, McVey, Lowry, Allen, Harkin, McIlmoyle, Canning, Clarke (Boyd 63), Boyce.
Subs not used: Cullen, Gillan, Bradley, McMullan.
Referee: Tim Marshall (Fermanagh)