Match Preview

Kearney expecting the “best Crusaders”

COLERAINE take a break from the league for the first time this season as Crusaders are the visitors in the first round of the Sadler’s Peaky Blinder Irish Cup this evening (KO 7:45pm)…

Sadler’s Peaky Blinder Irish Cup


The Bannsiders remained in third spot in the Danske Bank Premiership last weekend as a goal in each half was enough to record a 2-1 win against derby rivals Ballymena United. Oran Kearney’s men took the lead through Aaron Traynor’s close range finish before Stephen Lowry added a second early in the second-half. The Stripes reached the semi-final stage of the competition last season but were eliminated by Ballymena United on spot kicks.

Crusaders arrive in good form as they are unbeaten in their last six games which secured their spot in the top six ahead of the league split. The latest success was a 2-0 win away to Dungannon Swifts last weekend as Paul Heatley and Jordan Forsythe got on the scoresheet. Stephen Baxter’s side won the competition in 2019 but couldn’t defend their crown last time out as they were beaten by Glentoran at the quarter-final stage.

Previous meetings:

This will be the fourth meeting between the two clubs this season and the third at the Ballycastle Road. The first was at Seaview in November and as the game looked destined to end in a draw, the hosts would bag all three points as Jordan Owens headed in from a Jordan Forsythe cross.

The next contest was at The Showgrounds at the end of the January and Crusaders took an early lead through a smart finish from Jamie McGonigle. However, Coleraine responded and levelled before the break as Curtis Allen was on hand to fire home from Lyndon Kane’s cut back. There would be late drama as Coleraine found a winner in the dying minutes as Stephen Lowry headed in from Jamie Glackin’s set-piece.

In February, the two teams would meet on the Ballycastle Road and it would be Coleraine who would record another three points. In a first-half that lacked any real creativity, the Bannsiders would hit the front just before the break as Matthew Shevlin headed in his first goal in Coleraine colours, before Aaron Jarvis rifled home a second after the break.

Manager’s Thoughts:

“We always prepare to face the best Crusaders,” Kearney said.

“They are a really dangerous outfit, the other week they went and hit six goals.

“I can’t remember when we last hit five or six goals in a game.

“There are teams there with savage firepower who can really hurt you on their night.

“Only a fool would try and read into form.

“It’s the same for everybody. I’ve told the players we’ve parked the league for a week as we got at the Irish Cup and it will be exactly the same for the Crues I’m sure.”


Supporters are not permitted inside the stadium due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

However, the match will be streamed live via the platform HERE

A full list of stream instructions can be read HERE

As ever, those unable to watch the fixture can follow the latest developments via the club’s official Twitter account (@ColeraineFC) and Instagram.