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Sean O'Neill backs Crusaders to regroup and go through the gears

Coleraine 1-1 Crusaders

By Keith Thomas

Published 22/08/2016

Frustrated: Sean O’Neill says that Crusaders were disappointed to draw
Frustrated: Sean O’Neill says that Crusaders were disappointed to draw

It won't be long before normal service is resumed in the Danske Bank Premiership title race, warns Crusaders keeper Sean O'Neill.

The Crues' draw at Coleraine saw the champions lose top spot in the table to Ards, but O'Neill insists the blip is merely temporary.

"We didn't do enough on the day to get the win. However we are disappointed about only securing a point," he said.

O'Neill was beaten by a deflected David Ogilby free kick, which cancelled out Steven Douglas' own goal after less than two minutes when the defender's heel angled Gavin Whyte's attempt past home keeper Chris Johns.

O'Neill added: "I was disappointed about the free kick because I reckon I had it covered but the ball caught someone in the wall and edged past me."

Home boss Oran Kearney said: "They have a great record against us here and, after conceding early last week at Dungannon and then losing 4-0, I honestly feared the worst. But the floodgates didn't open again.

"The players were magnificent and we more than deserved a share of the spoils."

Crusaders manager Stephen Baxter wasn't concerned about his side's failure to hit the net themselves for a second consecutive game.

"These are early days in the league race and our players are just settling in. They are working hard and I'm not worrying about anything," said Baxter.

COLERAINE: Johns, Kane, Douglas, Ogilby, McCauley, Twigg (McLaughlin, 67 mins), Brown, Kee, Lyons, Parkhill, McGonigle (McCafferty, 55 mins). Unused subs: Mullan, Higgins, Morrow

Crusaders: O'Neill, Burns, Beverland, Coates, Cushley (Clarke, 46 mins), Caddell (Soares, 75 mins), Forsythe, McClean, Owens, Heatley, Whyte. Unused subs: Gault, Lowry, Holden

Referee: Ray Hetherington (Dungannon)

Man of the match: Chris Johns

Match rating: 7/10

Belfast Telegraph

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