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Stephen Baxter facing crucial spell

Stephen Baxter has admitted that his Crusaders team is facing a week that could make or break their Premiership challenge.

The Crues are 10 points behind leaders Cliftonville in the race for the title, but could fire themselves right back into contention by beating Ballinamallard United at Ferney Park tonight and following it up with a victory over the Reds in Saturday's north-Belfast derby at Solitude.

Crusaders also have another match in hand – at home to Glentoran – and will meet the Reds again after the split, giving them ample opportunity to overhaul their neighbours in the battle for the Gibson Cup.

"Sometimes you come to a point in the season where one week can play a big part in dictating your destiny," said Baxter.

"I remember when I was a player at Crusaders, we had won the league the year before and we were in the running again.

"We had an Irish Cup semi-final and an important league game within the space of a few days – we lost them both and our season was over.

"That's where we are at now. We play Ballinamallard and Cliftonville and we're trying to win a couple of games to put us right back into the frame again."

A team of volunteers was on the pitch at Warrenpoint Town's Milltown home last night in an attempt to make it playable for this evening's game against Glenavon.

There will be free entry to the game, if it goes ahead.

TONIGHT'S FIXTURES: Ballinamallard United v Crusaders (7.45pm), Warrenpoint Town v Glenavon (8pm).

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