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Saturday 26th January v. Ards (home) - Danske Bank Premiership - k.o: 3:00pm

Crusaders Match Preview
Uploaded Friday, 23rd Feb, 2018 at 13:31

BALLYMENA United travel to Seaview on Saturday afternoon to face table topping Crusaders in the Danske Bank Premiership.
The last time the sides met was the Toals Co Antrim Shield Final at the Ballymena Showgrounds when the visitors ran out 4-2 winners, the United goals coming from Johnny McMurray and Cathair Friel in the second half.
Recent results v Crusaders (all league unless stated):
Ballymena United 2-4 Crusaders, Ballymena Showgrounds, 23rd January 2018. (Toals Co Antrim Shield Final)
Crusaders 2-1 Ballymena United, Seaview, 22nd December 2017. Att: 1479
Ballymena United 1-4 Crusaders, Ballymena Showgrounds, 11th August 2017. Att: 1840
Ballymena United 3-0 Crusaders, Ballymena Showgrounds, 22nd April 2017. Att: 1644
Crusaders 2-1 Ballymena United, Seaview, 11th February 2017. Att: 1294
Ballymena United 2-1 Crusaders, Ballymena Showgrounds, 15th October 2016. Att: 1490
Crusaders 6-0 Ballymena United, Seaview, 6th August 2016. Att: 1479
Since the Co Antrim Shield win over Ballymena United, Crusaders have went on to beat Carrick Rangers twice in the league, first 6-0 at Seaview then 3-0 at Bangor Fuels Arena, and have also beat Glentoran 4-2 at Seaview. They've lost 3 cup games in the same period, Dungannon Swifts knocking them out of the BetMcLean League Cup at Stangmore Park in the semi-finals, Cliftonville sending them crashing out of the Tennent's Irish Cup with a 4-1 defeat at Solitude and, last weekend, Inverness Caledonian Thistle beating them 3-2 in the Scottish Challenge Cup semi-final.

They currently sit top of the table, 2 points clear of chasers Coleraine with a game in hand.
Ballymena United:
In the same timeframe the Braidmen have drawn 2-2 with last seasons Champions Linfield 2-2 at the Showgrounds, defeated Ballinamallard United 4-3 on penalties after their Tennent's Irish Cup 6th round game finished 2-2 after extra-time, knocked Cliftonville out of the BetMcLean League Cup at the Showgrounds in the semi-final. Last weekend United were sent to a crashing defeat in the final, losing 3-1 to Dungannon Swifts at the National Stadium with a well below par performance.

United currently sit in 7th in the league table, 2 points behind Glentoran with 3 games in hand, and 6 points ahead of Dungannon Swifts with 2 games in hand.
Away Fans Transport:
Seven Towers Ballymena United Supporters Club bus leaves Henry Street Car Park at 2:00pm.
Match Officials:
Referee: Arnold Hunter. Assistant 1: David Anderson. Assistant 2: Adam Jeffrey. 4th Official: Raymond Crangle.
Match Information:
Admission is payable at the gate.

Kick off is 3:00pm.
Can United grab their opportunity to jump over struggling Glentoran in the league table against a very impressive Crusaders side? The Crues have always provided stiff opposition over the past few years and are on a good run of form, but both sides have a few players out which could give the chance for new signings to show their worth. Make your way to Seaview on Saturday afternoon and be loud and proud in support of YOUR team - Come On Sky Blues!
Match Preview by Paul Irwin