Crusaders Beaten In First North Belfast Derby Of The Season

18th Sep 2023

It was a bad night at the office for Crusaders as the first North Belfast Derby of the season ended in a 3-0 defeat at Seaview. Crusaders never really got going all night and the result reflected how the game played out in front of a big crowd and Sky Sports cameras.

Both sides started cagey and it was Crusaders who had the first real chance but David Odumosu in the Cliftonville goal tipped over a Daniel Larmour header on 13 minutes. Cliftonvilles first chance produced a goal as Chris Gallagher met a Cliftonville corner 12 yards out and crashed the ball past Johnny Tuffey into the net making it 1-0 to the visitors. Paul Heatley went close two minutes later but his shot across goal beat the keeper and the far post by inches. Ben Kennedy let go with a free kick on 22 minutes but it flashed by the upright with the keeper stranded. Crusaders kept going and Jordan Forsythe free kick when straight to David Odumosu while Paul Heatley was unlucky not to control Ben Kennedys pass on 32 minutes. Daniel Larmour did well to cut out a Cliftonville attack on 39 minutes but Crusaders where then rocked by a second Cliftonville goal two minutes before half time. Rory Hale got himself into a good position in the box and he met the ball well sending it past Johnny Tuffey into the corner of the net leaving the half time score 2-0 to Cliftonville.

The second half started with Ross Clarke replacing Mal Smith and Crusaders nearly pulled a goal back on 49 minutes but a Cliftonville defender got just in front of Adam Lecky and Philip Lowry and nicked the ball away at the back post. David Odumosu palmed the resulting corner away and Cliftonville survived the early pressure they knew Crusaders would come out with. Cliftonville extended the lead yet again when Ben Wilson turned sharply in the box and got a shot away that beat Johnny Tuffey low to his right and Cliftonville where 3-0 up after 55 minutes. Stephen Baxter brought on Jordan Owens and Robbie Weir but Crusaders still found it tough to break Cliftonville down. They did go close on 77 minutes but again David Odumosu was there to tip the ball away from Jordan Owens head. Cliftonville came back but Rory Hale and Samuel Ashford both shot high or wide and a s time ran out James Teelans introduction made little difference with the game running out leaving Cliftonville 3-0 winners and the bragging rights of North Belfast for a few months.

Crusaders have the chance to get back to winning ways on Saturday when they play Glenavon on Saturday (23rd) at Seaview. Tickets are available at