Crsuaders squeeze past minnows Crumlin Star

Crusaders David McAllister in action with Crumlin's Conor McDowell
Crusaders David McAllister in action with Crumlin's Conor McDowell

Andy Smith got off the mark to help new club Crusaders edge past Amateur League minnows Crumlin Star at Seaview.

Smith - in what was his first start for the Crues - scored in the 73rd minute to earn Stephen Baxter’s side a nervy 2-1 victory in this fifth round tie.

Matthew Snoddy had given the home side a fifth-minute lead from the penalty spot.

Despite the early breakthrough it was Crumlin who replied with a second half goal from Steven Brown.

Smith spared Crusaders’ blushes with a well-taken finish 17 minutes from time before Crumlin goalscorer Brown was sent off for two bookable offences.

The Crues broke the deadlock from the penalty spot in the fifth minute .

Gary McKernan bundled into Andy Smith inside the box, and Snoddy stepped up to rifle the spot-kick down the middle.

Nathan Hanley and Smith hit the woodwork with as the Crues laid siege to the Crumlin goal.

Hanley hit the post again for the Crues in the 58th minute with a long-range shot, and then Star keeper Malachy Thompson denied Smith on the goal-line.

Crumlin stunned Seaview in the 62nd minute with Brown’s equaliser.

Crusaders failed to clear the corner, and when Ciaran Murphy’s shot was cleared off the line by Matthew King, there was Brown to head home with O’Neill stranded.

The Crues regained the lead against the run of play in the 73rd minute.

Substitute Jordan Owens threaded a pass through to Smith who ran on and drilled a low shot into the bottom corner.

Brown was then shown a second yellow card for a crude challenge on Smith.

CRUSADERS: O’Neill, Leeman, Adamson, Hanley, Robinson, McMaster (Owens 65), Watson, Snoddy (Caddell 65), McAllister (McClean 83), King, Smith.

Subs not used: Morrow, McCutcheon.

CRUMLIN STAR: Thompson, McDowell, Savage, McKernan (P. Brown)(Trainor 46), Byrne, McLarnon, S. Brown, Mooney, C. Murphy, F. Murphy, McKervey (O’Neill 87).

Subs not used: McAlea, Hawkins.

Referee: Tim Marshall (Irvinestown)