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Carrick Rangers 3 Crusaders 4

By Robert Jones

Crusaders staged a remarkable comeback to maintain their grip on the Irn-Bru League Cup.

After 15 minutes it looked as though the holders were about to crash out of the competition at the hands of Championship side Carrick Rangers, who led 2-0.

But an amazing rally by the Crues was completed with just seconds left, David Gibson scoring the goal that gave the Shore Road men a stunning 4-3 victory over Michael Hughes’ battlers.

The Crues were rocked early on when Sencer Yilmaz put Carrick in front with just 11 minutes on the clock.

Things got worse for Stephen Baxter’s men four minutes later, Corey Davidson taking advantage of some poor defending to double Carrick’s lead.

Baxter was probably preparing to give his players a half-time rollicking, but they struck twice in a minute just before the break to level.

First Gary McCutcheon pounced after goalkeeper Robert Robinson failed to hold Matthew Snoddy’s shot before former Carrick player Paul Heatley hit a stunning left-foot shot into the net in first-half injury time.

Carrick weren’t finished though and they went in front again when Yilmaz scored his second of the night, heading home from a corner after 72 minutes.

Timmy Adamson toe-poked home an equaliser 10 minutes later to set up a thrilling finale and just when it looked like the tie was heading for extra-time, Gibson hit the winner with a shot into the bottom corner.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph