Belfast Telegraph

Friday 19 September 2014

Crusaders win but Coates is a cup doubt

Coleraine 1 Crusaders 3

Colin Coates left the action at half-time

Injury-plagued skipper Colin Coates may be forced out of Crusaders' Irish Cup quarter-final replay at Lisburn Distillery tonight.

The defender limped off at half-time in Saturday's league victory at Coleraine with a recurrence of a long standing groin problem.

Coates has been battling for weeks to recover from it, his manager Stephen Baxter has revealed.

"It's a balance issue and causes him a lot of aggravation. He plays two or three games and then the injury flares up. He usually manages to work through it but it is a concern for the cup game."

Two-goal Showgrounds hero Eamon McAllister, back after almost eight months out with an abductor muscle injury, reckons he has strengthened his case for another start.

On his first start since the opening day of the season, McAllister delivered big time.

"Hopefully the boss thinks I have done enough to get another chance," he suggested.

Baxter said: "The cup tie is massive. One or two others in the squad have stood up and been counted so that gives me plenty to mull over."

McAlllister struck early at Coleraine, volleying past keeper Michael Doherty after four minutes.

Coleraine striker Curtis Allen headed his 17th goal of the season on 27 minutes and then substitute Timmy Adamson restored Crusader's advantage with a close range header.

McAllister's stunning second came from a shot from 16 yards.

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