IRISH LEAGUE: Cliftonville come from behind to earn 2-2 draw against Crusaders at Seaview

Crusaders defender Billy Joe Burns celebrates his penalty which had given the champions a 2-0 lead
Crusaders defender Billy Joe Burns celebrates his penalty which had given the champions a 2-0 lead


Cliftonville came from two goals down to earn a dramatic 2-2 draw against champions Crusaders at Seaview.

Trailing to Jordan Forsythe’s opener in the 69th minute and Billy Joe Burns’ penalty two minutes later, the Reds hit back with two late goals to claim a share of the points.

Davy McDaid started the comeback with a superb free-kick in the 76th minute before Jay Donnelly headed home with two minutes remaining.

It was a thrilling conclusion to a tense north Belfast derby on the Shore Road, and keeps Crusaders eight points clear at the top of the Danske Bank Premiership table.

All the action came following a sedate opening half.

The champions broke the deadlock in the 69th minute with Forsythe on target.

Gavin Whyte crossed from the right for Matthew Snoddy who fed the ball into the path of Forsythe, and the winger guided a right-foot shot past Conor Devlin from 15 yards.

Crusaders were awarded a penalty two minutes later when Tomas Cosgrove was adjudged to have bundled into Owens.

Burns stepped up to send Devlin the wrong way with a clinical spot-kick.

The Reds responded with a superb free-kick by McDaid in the 76th minute.

Ryan Catney was fouled by Josh Robinson 22 yards from goal, and McDaid stepped up to curl a delightful effort into the top corner.

And the visitors earned a draw with Jay Donnelly’s late equaliser, the striker latching onto James Knowles’ free-kick to loop a header past O’Neill.

Declan Caddell almost snatched all three points in the first minute of injury time but the substitute’s header drifted just wide.

CRUSADERS: O’Neill, Burns, Magowan, Coates, McClean, Snoddy, Robinson, Owens, Carvill (Caddell 77), Forsythe, Whyte (Clarke 85).

Subs not used: O’Carroll, O’Flynn, Mitchell.

CLIFTONVILLE: Devlin, McGovern, Ives, Flynn, Knowles, Curran, McDaid, Garrett, Catney, J. Donnelly, Cosgrove.

Subs not used: McMullan, M. Donnelly, Brennan, Murray, Mooney.

Referee: Crangle (Belfast)