Paul McElroy popped up with a late late goal this evening at Mourneview Park to earn Crusaders a point in a 2-2 draw with Glenavon. It means that Crusaders now sit in third place in the Danske Bank Premiership behind Coleraine and Cliftonville.
Crusaders started strongly and put Glenavon under pressure and could easily have gone one up but for a Ross Clarke cross being stopped by a Glenavon leg and keeper Taylor smothering the ball. The Glenavon bar was rattled with a header from one of their own defenders and Crusaders own keeper Gerard Doherty saved bravely when Glenavon threatened. Crusaders had the upper hand in the half and where rewarded two minutes before the whistle when Jamie McGonigle crashed the ball home with a well worked free kick and that was the way the half ended with Crusaders ahead.
Glenavon came out the stronger side the second half and put Crusders under pressure. Gerard Doherty was on hand to clear when needed and the rest of the defence did well with what was thrown at them. Billy Joe Burns made a great run but when his cross fell to Paul Heatley he miss hit his shot and the ball was cleared. Glenavon counter attacked from this and the ball was played into Jenkins from Marshall and he slipped the ball home to make it 1-1. Declan Caddell went close just minutes. Crusaders came back into it and both Rory Hale and Jamie McGonigle had chances but failed to score. With five minutes left Glenavon went 2-1 up when Murray shot past Doherty and Crusaders again lifted themselves with the Glenavon keeper somehow saving a goalbound effort from Jordan Owens with Jamie McGonigles follow up going wide. With virtually the last kick of the ball Crusaders equalised. Good play out wide saw McGonigle put the ball low across the box and Paul McElroy was on hand to touch home and it ended 2-2.
So a point rescued and we now sit third in the table. Attention turns to Tuesday night when we travel yet again to Ballymena Showgrounds to play Ballymena United in the BetMcLean.com League Cup Quarter Final (7.45pm)