Crusaders are out of the BetMcLean .com League Cup after Championship side Dundela won 2-1 at Wilgar Park on Tuesday night. It was a below par performance from Crusaders and they find themselves out of a second cup competition in a week.
There was a wonderfully observed minutes silence ahead of kick off to mark the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II . Crusaders started brighly with an early effort but Dundela had them on the back foot after a few minutes of pressure. Neil Shields had to make a smart save from Jude Winchester after 10 minutes and Johnny McMurray spurned a good chance when well positioned but the ball just got away. Johnny Tuffey was called into action on 21 minuytes when his miss kick landed at a dundela players foot but he recovered well to make a good save. Jarlath O'Rourke and Jude Winchester both went close before Neil Shields in the Dundela goal produced a superb flying save to stop a goal bound effort from Jarlath O'Rourke. Dundela after that scare went ahead a minute later on 35 minutes. Crusaders couldn't clear and the ball fell to Benny Igiehon who spun away and shot across Johnny Tuffey into the net and the hosts where ahead 1-0. Crusaders tried to fight back but the best they could come up with was an Adam Lecky header that was saved leaving Dundela one up at the break.
The second half saw Paul Heatley and Ross Clarke come on out on the wings and Crusaders where a different side. A lot more pace and spreading of the ball kept Dundela busy but again the goal wouldn't come. On 52 minutes Neil Shields amde another wonder save when he somehow got down to a Billy Joe Burns effort and spooned it away. A free kick on 55 minutes hit the wall and the follow up was cleared and it started to frustrate Crusaders. More subs followed with Jordan Owens and Mccauley Snelgrove coming on and despite a lot of pressure they just couldn't get the equaliser.. Ross Clarke went close on 77 minutes and Neil Shields saved again this time from Mccauley Snelgrove. As Crusaders pushed forward it left gaps and Dundela got into one on 83 minutes when Eamon Fyfe ran on to a good ball and shot past Johnny Tuffey to make it 2-0. Crusaders hit back immediately and Jarlath O'Rourke was in the right place in the Dundela box to poke the ball home and it was 2-1 with 6 minutes to go. Crusaders again piled on the pressure and Paul Heatley hit the side netting on 90 minutes while Jordan Owens didn't get his head on to a cross while Johnny Tuffey made a fantastic save to keep it 2-1. Despite a final surge of pressure it wasn't enough and Dundela progressed 2-1 into the next round.