Crusaders wary of new boys’ visit
Crusaders manager Stephen Baxter had a late goal on his mind last Saturday but it wasn’t Darren Boyce’s dramatic winner for Glentoran at Seaview.
Across north Belfast, former Crues winger Martin Donnelly popped up in the 83rd minute for his new club, Cliftonville, to kill off the challenge of plucky Premier League new boys Carrick Rangers.
Rangers visit Seaview tomorrow afternoon — and they will become increasingly familiar with the new-look venue in the weeks to come while Taylor’s Avenue is getting an artificial surface of its own.
Although new to the cut and thrust of the Carling Premiership, Baxter knows any side that makes the Reds sweat until the final 10 minutes commands respect.
“I know Carrick will come here with a real dogged determination,” said Baxter. “They conceded a late goal against Cliftonville in a match they will feel they could have got something out of and any team that pushes Cliftonville all the way won’t be frightened about coming here.
“They will be shown the same respect we show every team and we will just have to try and find our shooting boots and get back on track.”
The Crues have licked their wounds after the heartbreaking 2-1 defeat to Glentoran and Rangers will be braced for a backlash.
“We lost narrowly against the Glens but that’s life and you have to prepare for the next challenge,” added Baxter.
“We didn’t play our normal passing game in the first half and it was scrappy football but I felt we annihilated them in the second half but their goalkeeper made a few stunning saves.
“Maybe some time we will be on the receiving end of a mauling and then grab the winning goal.”
Stuart Dallas is likely to sit out the Carrick clash, nursing a swollen ankle, but Chris Morrow could return for the hosts.