Belfast Telegraph

Bangor's remarkable fightback stuns Crusaders

By Staff Reporter

Championship club Bangor booked their place in the last four of the League Cup with a sensational comeback that rocked Stephen Baxter's Crusaders.

The Crues were 2-0 up and set for their fifth League Cup semi-final in a row thanks to two first-half Timmy Adamson goals, only for the game to turn on its head when the same player received a red card in the 57th minute.

The Seasiders didn't waste their man advantage. Goals from Dean Youle and Andy Hall took the game to extra-time before an Ethan Boylan double gave the home side one of their most famous victories in recent years.

With two senior cup semi-finals and a seven-point advantage at the top of the Championship, Bangor fans could be forgiven for thinking the glory days might be on their way back to Clandeboye Road.

Crusaders took the lead in the 23rd minute when Stephen Cockcroft whipped a dangerous ball in from the left-hand side that was turned into the net by Adamson.

Adamson grabbed his second of the game in the 36th minute. Talented teenager Gavin Whyte collected the ball on the right-flank and burst past William McBurney before drilling the ball across goal. Whyte's cross looked to be a little behind Adamson, but the powerful forward produced a fine flicked finish.

Adamson's dream night turned into a nightmare in the 57th minute when he received a second yellow card. The striker's late lunge on Youle left referee Ian McNabb with little choice.

With a man advantage and the wind behind their backs, the Seasiders looked much sharper in the second half. It was perhaps no surprise then when Bangor pulled a goal back. A dangerous Hall corner-kick was headed in by Youle, with goalkeeper Sean O'Neill caught off his line.

The Bangor equaliser arrived with nine minutes left on the clock and it was nothing short of spectacular. Hall rifled a 35-yard free-kick into the top corner leaving O'Neill rooted to the spot.

Garth Scates' Bangor completed their incredible comeback in the 10th minute of extra-time. Colin Nixon flicked the ball into the path of Boylan, who slotted the ball past O'Neill from less than 10 yards. The striker's goal sparked wild celebrations.

Boylan then added a fourth in the 117th minute when he lobbed O'Neill with a marvellous finish.

The forward looked a yard off-side, but he nor anyone of a yellow and blue persuasion couldn't care less. It was remarkable finish, to a truly remarkable game of football.

Belfast Telegraph

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