LINFIELD 2 CRUSADERS 2
LINFIELD and Crusaders will play it again after fighting out a pulsating 2-2 draw at Windsor Park.
Gary McCutcheon gave the Crues the lead inside the first minute before Matt Tipton bagged the home side’s equaliser.
Linfield went 2-1 in front in the 32nd minute through Brian McCaul before defender Johnny Black was sent off for a rash tackle on Aidan Watson.
Timmy Adamson ensured the replay with a 55th-minute equaliser for the Crues.
Crusaders silenced Windsor with the opening goal after 11 seconds.
Gareth McKeown’s long ball found its way to McCutcheon who raced clear before lifting his shot over the advancing Alan Blayney.
Linfield were level on 19 minutes with McCaul tapping home from close range after Sean O’Neill could only spill Tipton’s initial shot.
O’Neill’s exertions resulted in the Crues keeper being forced off with what appeared a serious shoulder injury - and with no reserve keeper on the bench it was midfielder Chris Morrow who donned the gloves for the remainder of the game.
Controversy surrounded Linfield’s second goal in the 32nd minute.
Michael Gault’s long-range shot was diverted goalwards by Tipton, and despite Morrow appearing to save with his feet referee Colin Burns adjudged the ball to have crossed the line.
Linfield were reduced to 10 men in the 41st minute with Black’s dismissal.
The Blues defender lunged in on Watson in front of the home dugout, prompting referee Burns to produce a straight red card.
Crusaders were level in the 55th minute.
McBride’s cross was met with an acrobatic bicycle kick by Adamson, and when the ball rebounded off the post the same striker was first to react by poking the ball home.
Crusaders substitute David Rainey almost claimed the win in the 90th minute, but his header crept inches wide of the post.
LINFIELD: Blayney, Gault, Murphy, Carvill, Burns, Tipton, Mulgrew, Watson, McCaul, McAllister, Black.
Subs not used: Lowry, Fordyce, Browne, Ervin, Clarke.
CRUSADERS: O’Neill (Morrow 23), McKeown, McBride, Magowan, Coates, Robinson, Caddell, Watson (Snoddy 44), Heatley, Adamson, McCutcheon (Rainey 86).
Subs not used: Leeman, McCready.
Referee: Colin Burns (Newtownabbey)