Crusaders and Institute ended locked at 1-1 today at Seaview in the Danske Bank Premiership. Crusaders Jordan Owens and Institute keeper Rory Brown had their own personal battle all day but it was the keeper who came out on top saving several Owens headers.
Crusaders started strongly and Ross Clarke went closest when his header beat the keeper but defenders cleared. Crusaders kept going forward but it was Gerard Doherty in the Crusaders net who had to save well after Kyle Owens hit a short back pass. McGonigle kept plugging away and hit the side netting before Brown saved a Jordan Owens shot that followed a great touch to set it up. Brown saved again this time from Ross Clarke and Crusaders where getting frustrated. Institute took a shock lead on 38 minutes when Colm McLaughlin scored from close range after the initial attempt by another Institute player produced a great save from Doherty. Institutes lead did not last long as Crusaders stormed back and equalised three minutes later. Jamie McGonigle latched on to a good through ball and he calmly slotted home to make it 1-1 and that's the way it ended after 45 minutes.
The second half was five minutes old when Jordan saw his header saved by Brown. Just a minute later the same happened again only this time Brown dived full length to his left to make a great save. The personal battle continued on 57 minutes when Brown again saved another Jordan Owens header and it looked it was not going to be the big strikers day. Gerard Doherty got out smartly to stop an Institute attack before they shot wide this time without troubling Doherty. Brown fumbled a long range shot but recovered well to put off Gary Thompson before dropping a high ball after crashing off the post from where David Cushley headed home but somehow was called offside. With less than five minutes left a McGonigle curler went wide and another Owens header was saved easily. In time added on it was Institute who nearly stole the three points when Doherty first made a good save and then they hit the side netting when well placed. With no further action the game finished and the points shared.
A frustrating day then but a point going forward. Crusaders now start to work towards our next game which is Larne at Inver Park on Monday week.