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Crusaders Match Preview
Uploaded Thursday, 22nd Sep, 2022 at 15:53

BALLYMENA United travel to Seaview to face Crusaders in the Danske Bank Premiership on Friday evening.
The last time the sides met was in the final of the Samuel Gelston's Whiskey Irish Cup in May, Robbie Weir scoring an own goal in the opening 10 minutes, but Josh Robinson levelled deep into second half injury time to take the game to extra-time. Despite peppering the Sky Blue goal during extra-time it took a heartbreaking shot from ex-United player Johnny McMurray firing home from just inside the box in the last minute of the game to clinch the cup.
Latest results v Crusaders (all league unless stated):
Ballymena United 1-1 (1-2 aet) Crusaders, National Stadium, 7th May 2022. (Samuel Gelston's Whiskey Irish Cup Final)
Crusaders 2-1 Ballymena United, Seaview, 15th March 2022. Att: 802
Ballymena United 2-0 Crusaders, Ballymena Showgrounds, 27th November 2021. Att: 1055
Crusaders 1-1 (2-3 aet) Ballymena United, Seaview, 13th October 2021. (BetMcLean League Cup Round 3)
Ballymena United 0-1 Crusaders, Ballymena Showgrounds, 9th October 2021. Att: 1282
The Crues campaign started with a European adventure, beating Gibraltarian side Magpies 4-3 on aggregate in the 1st qualifying round of the Europa Conference League, before being knocked out by Swiss side Basel 3-1 on aggregate in the 2nd qualifying round. Before the league side started Crusaders lifted the White Ribbon Charity Shield with a 2-0 win over Linfield at the National Stadium.

In the Danske Bank Premiership, Crusaders sit in 3rd place, having won 4, drawn 1 and lost 1. They were knocked out of the Toals Co Antrim Shield by Linfield and, more surprisingly, Dundela sent them crashing out of the BetMcLean League Cup. The Crues bounced back with a 2-1 win over Linfield last Friday night.
Ballymena United:
Aside from wins in the Toals Co Antrim Shield and BetMcLean League Cup, form has been awful in the league and large sections of the Ballymena are growing increasingly frustrated with the football on fare.

With 1 win, 1 draw and 4 defeats United sit 10th in the table, 4 points above pointless Portadown and Dungannon Swifts, and a single point behind Glenavon.
Ballymena United fans can buy their tickets from the Crusaders ticket portal at https://crusadersfootballclub.com/tickets. Adults cost £12 and concessions £8.
Match Officials:
Referee: Ian McNabb. Assistant 1: Ken Ross. Assistant 2: Gavin Hegarty. 4th Official: Christopher Morrison.
Match Information:
United supporters will be housed in the South Stand, entering the ground via Shore Road Gate B.

The match kicks off at 7:45pm.
Ballymena United are under a serious amount of pressure after a poor start to the league campaign, and an away game against 3rd placed Crusaders is just the start of a series of tough games. Can the Sky Blues pick themselves up and gain an unexpected win at Seaview? Make your way to Seaview and be loud and proud in support of YOUR team - Come On Sky Blues!
Match Preview by Paul Irwin