Irish Premiership: Crusaders-Cliftonville called off

The Irish Premiership match between Crusaders and Cliftonville has been called off on security advice following a protest outside the ground.

A Union flag demonstration took place place near Crusaders' Seaview ground on the Shore Road, where the match was scheduled to take place.

Most Cliftonville supporters and many Crusaders fans had been unable to gain access to the stadium.

The match was called off at 15:10 GMT because of safety concerns.

Crusaders chairman Stephen Bell said it was "a sad day for football".

"The football family need to hold together at this difficult time," added Bell.

Crusaders manager Stephen Baxter said the situation was "outside of their control".

"We were all prepared and ready for this game but we'll just have to get on with it and come back to play it another day," said Baxter.

His Cliftonville counterpart Tommy Breslin described the postponement of the match as "disappointing".

"Win, lose or draw, we were just here for a game of football on a Saturday afternoon," said Breslin.

"The clubs have co-operated closely in recent years and this will just bring them closer together again," he said.