Crusaders 2 Cliftonville 2
Any neutrals looking for talking points in the domestic game should add a north-Belfast derby to their list of ‘things to do’ and, although the referee was on the lips of most supporters as they left Seaview on Saturday — and not in a favourable way — what shouldn’t be forgotten was some superb passages of play served up by both sides.
The Crues, in particular, felt that Hugh Carvill had a shocker and, after closer examination, they were right to be fuming at the penalty award though Declan Caddell can have few complaints about his raised elbow which sparked a second yellow card and an early bath.
Gareth McKeown’s tackle on Chris Scannell was a fair one and the Crues’ anger deepened late on when Carvill, amazingly, chose to ignore a blatant shove on Stuart Dallas by Ryan Catney that left the youngster floored after a heavy collision with a fence.
The home side were coasting 2-0 at the break after goals from Dallas and David Rainey but they can thank Ciaran Caldwell (pictured) for coming to their rescue with a stunning header and cool penalty.
“A few home truths were said at half-time,” said Caldwell. “We had a few shouts for a penalty but the one the referee gave was the one we probably least deserved.
“The lads give me stick about not scoring enough with my head but it was a great ball by Stephen (Garrett) and I just had to direct it towards goal.”
Crues boss Stephen Baxter said: “We are a little disappointed but we came away with something.”