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Crusaders' McBride regrets hand of fate

Stephen McBride was feeling very low on Tuesday night after conceding the penalty that ultimately led to Crusaders’ exit from the Irish Cup but he won’t allow the disappointment to linger.

It was McBride’s handball that gave Kevin Braniff the chance to kill off the Shore Road men in the 83rd minute and the striker kept his head to send the holders spiralling out of the competition.

The left-back accepts that he did handle the ball but he is also determined to forget about the “unfortunate accident”.

“It was a penalty,” he said. “I went to head the ball and it struck my arm. I have no complaints about the decision but it’s just one of those unfortunate accidents.

“I’m very disappointed about it but there is another match on Saturday (at home to Newry City) to think about and I’m keen to forget about it and keep showing the consistent form I believe I have been showing this season. The Cup is not meant to be for us this year but there is still European football to secure.”

The Shamrock Park disaster also featured nasty injuries to Chris Morrow and Colin Coates.

“I feel desperately sorry for Chris as he was out of the game a long time with a leg break and now his season could be over,” added McBride. “Richard Lecky, who clashed with Colin, said he did connect with his elbow but it was purely accidental.”

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