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Crusaders 2 Donegal Celtic 0

By Graham Luney

Stephen Baxter believes he has the right blend of youth and experience at the back after young Joshua Robinson made a stunning Carling Premiership debut against Donegal Celtic.

The 19-year-old is still learning the game but he looked calm, composed and assured alongside the experienced Paul Leeman.

For a long period the Crues defence picked itself with skipper Colin Coates lining up alongside David Magowan, Stephen McBride and Gareth McKeown.

However, Baxter now has a wealth of options at the back with former Rangers starlet Robinson (pictured below with Mark Miskimmin) reading the game so well and Craig McClean producing solid performances at left-back.

Coates is still two weeks away from shaking off an ankle injury while McKeown is on holiday.

Defences were on top at Seaview until the final 15 minutes when the home side’s pressure was rewarded with a Chris Morrow header and Gary McCutcheon penalty.

But Northern Ireland Under-21 defender Robinson, a nephew of former Linfield goalkeeper George Dunlop, looks a class act and Baxter dismissed the claim it was a “risk” throwing the young lion into action.

“It was never a risk (playing Joshua),” insisted Baxter.

“You don’t go and play three years at Rangers and be a risk at this level. He has developed as a footballer all his life from junior level and cross-channel clubs have had him on trial.

“He’s also an Under-21 international and he stepped into the role like he has played there all his life. His reading of the game and heading ability is excellent.

“It’s good that we can have a young player like that who can gel into this squad.

“We have been missing our captain and you need to have the young players who are capable of stepping in and doing a job alongside another young fella, Paul Leeman, who can show him his way around the place!”

DC are the only top flight side yet to bag their first win.

“We frustrated Crusaders for long periods,” said DC chief Stevie Small.

He added: “The boys worked hard.

“Mark (Miskimmin) had a great chance just before they scored so with a little luck, the result could have been different.”

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph