Irish Premiership: Crusaders 1-1 Cliftonville

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Crusaders skipper Colin Coates scores a last-gasp equaliser in a 1-1 draw against Cliftonville.

Colin Coates atoned for his earlier penalty miss as his injury-time goal earned Crusaders a draw against Cliftonville in the North Belfast Premiership derby.

Coates blazed over his 46th-minute penalty with Liam Boyce netting his spot-kick for the champions at the other end two minutes later.

The Crues equaliser came in the third and final minute of injury-time.

Cliftonville and Crusaders drop six and seven points behind leaders Linfield.

The Blues defeated Glentoran in the Boxing Day Big Two Derby and David Jeffrey's delight at the Oval result will surely only have been increased by the events at Seaview.

Jordan Owens's aerial ability was the main feature of a lacklustre first half as the champions struggled to produce their normal passing game.

A mistake by the otherwise impressive Paul Leeman did give Boyce a chance midway through the first half but the Reds striker scuffed his shot.

However, for the most part Leeman, Coates and Josh Robinson were able to subdue Boyce and Joe Gormley during the opening period.

Owens showed an ability to out-jump the Reds defenders in the opening period but his team-mates were unable to get on the end of the striker's flick-ons.

Coates was presented with the chance to put the Crues ahead on 46th minute after Barry Johnston had brought down Paul Heatley but the centre-back hammered his spot-kick wildly over the bar.

Moments later, Cliftonville's Martin Murray and Crusaders defender Craig McClean were both yellow carded after a clash, which led to a melee involving a number of players.

Cliftonville earned their penalty in the 49th minute after Coates had been adjudged to have fouled Gormley.

Boyce made no mistake from the spot and as Crusaders were only able to huff and puff for the most part, the spot-kick looked set to earn the champions victory.

However right at the death, Coates bundled the ball home from four yards with the Reds barely having time to kick off before the full-time whistle sounded.

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