Irish Premiership: Coleraine 0-2 Crusaders

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Coleraine 0-2 Crusaders

Two debatable Billy Joe Burns penalties gave Premiership leaders Crusaders victory away to Coleraine.

The first was awarded for Johnny Watt's foul on Paul Heatley just before half-time which Coleraine insisted had taken place outside the area.

Referee Raymond Crangle pointed to the spot and sent off defender Watt as he had been booked earlier.

Burns made it 2-0 on 74 minutes after David Ogilby was adjudged to have impeded striker Jordan Owens.

The incident happened as the players, along with debutant keeper Chris Johns, went for a high ball by Burns into the area.

The referee ruled Ogilby had pulled the shirt of Owens and Burns made it 2-0 from the spot.

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Coleraine 0-2 Crusaders

With the top three in the Premiership winning, champions Crusaders remain eight points clear of second-placed Cliftonville and nine ahead of Linfield.

For Coleraine, it was a third league defeat in a row and they were unhappy about the penalty verdicts, especially the first one.

It looked harsh on Coleraine as any contact between the players appeared to have happened just outside the area, with Heatley then falling inside. Referee Crangle pointed to the spot after consulting with his assistant.

What they said

Crusaders manager Stephen Baxter: "I have no idea if the first penalty incident was inside the box or not.

"The officials are there to make these decisions. My job is to look after the team."

Coleraine manager Oran Kearney: "My gut feeling at the time was that it was outside the box. I have seen video footage and photographs and it is not even close to being inside.

"The linesman said he made the call and that he was 100% sure, but the initial foul was about two yards outside.

"In just five seconds the game was turned on its head."

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