Cliftonville suffered a disastrous late collapse in this afternoon's North Belfast Derby clash with Crusaders.
Three goals up at Seaview, the Reds saw their advantage cut to just a single strike before two injury-time efforts from
the hosts saw the contest turned on its head entirely.
Daniel Hughes, Jay Donnelly and Ruairi Harkin had blasted Cliftonville into what looked like an unassailable lead but
Jordan Owens' double rekindled Crusaders' competitive edge before Michael Carvill's leveller and David Cushley's
last-gasp winner completed the turnaround.
It was the visitors who started brightly and it was no surprise to see them take the lead; Hughes' smart finish capping
an excellent passing sequence that had started with goalkeeper Jason Mooney and boasted valuable contributions
from both Martin and Jay Donnelly.
Mooney's save from a looping Declan Caddell strike and Owens' failure to convert Gavin Whyte's delivery preserved
the Reds' advantage at the interval and they duly doubled it nine minutes after the break when, following Sean
O'Neill's save to deny Martin Donnelly, Jay followed up to side-step a defender and crash an unstoppable effort into
the top corner.
Things would get better still for Cliftonville just past the hour when Harkin rifled home to make it 3-0 after seizing upon
a slovenly clearance from Craig McClean.
In total control of proceedings, the Reds duly contrived to undo all their good work in a harrowing final 25 minutes
when Owens - arguably from an offside position - nodded home after Mooney had clawed a Cushley strike out of the
air and the same player would reduce the arrears further with another header with just under a quarter of an hour left
on the clock.
The equaliser came in controversial circumstances when referee Raymond Crangle's inconsistent performance
stretched to ignoring a clear foul on Mooney, whose subsequent spillage of possession kick-started a goalmouth
pinball spree that ended with Carvill touching over the line.
With Reds boss Gerard Lyttle having been dismissed from the dugout for his protests over that goal, the Crues would
go on to win the game when another delivery from a wide position caught Cliftonville's defence at sixes and sevens,
although it took a fortunate ricochet off Cushley's knee to send the ball past Mooney and secure the most unlikely of
victories for the hosts.
Reds crumble at Seaview
Crusaders 4-3 Cliftonville
The Official Photographers of Cliftonville FC
Jude Winchester steps past Michael Gault; Ruairi Harkin and James Knowles congratulate opening scorer Daniel
Hughes and (right) Tomas Cosgrove looks on as Martin Donnelly battles with Paul Heatley
Caoimhin Bonner
Chris Curran
Davy McDaid
Stephen Garrett
Gary Donnelly

Cliftonville XI
Jason Mooney
Jaimie McGovern
Levi Ives
Jason McGuinness
James Knowles
Martin Donnelly
Daniel Hughes
Ruairi Harkin
Jude Winchester
Jay Donnelly
Tomas Cosgrove
Saturday, October 1, 2016

Danske Bank

Seaview, Belfast