Irish Cup quarter-final Crusaders 4-1 Carrick Rangers

Crusaders come from a goal to to run out 4-1 winners and knock Carrick Rangers out of the Irish Cup at Seaview

Premiership leaders Crusaders fought back from a goal down at half-time to beat Championship side Carrick in the Irish Cup quarter-final at Seaview.

The Crues produced a lethargic first half and Carrick took the lead on 41 after Craig McClean hit an own goal.

However, Richard Clarke levelled on 55 and his cross then set up Diarmuid O'Carroll to nod the Crues ahead 64.

Clarke's superb free-kick made it 3-1 on 84 and Gavin Whyte slid in the fourth goal two minutes later.

Clarke produced an outstanding second half as he delivered a series of dangerous crosses and long balls.

Pick of his deliveries was his 84th-minute free-kick which flew in past the Championship side's keeper Brian Neeson.

Crusaders opted to go more direct in the second half and the Carrick defence was unable to cope with the power of the home attack.

Stephen Baxter's side were without their star winger Paul Heatley and in his absence, they didn't create a chance of note in the opening period.

Carrick's disciplined defensive shape frustrated their home side and the Championship side also created a couple of chances of their own.

The Crues defence had to scramble away a dangerous Miguel Chines free-kick on 33 and Sean O'Neill then had to move smartly to palm away a Conor McCloskey shot.

Chines was involved as Carrick took the lead on 41 as McClean diverted his cross past O'Neill.

Crusaders picked up the pace considerably in the second period and they were on terms on 55 minutes as Clarke fired home after a penalty-area scramble.

O'Carroll's glanced in Clarke's free-kick past Neeson on 64 and as they continued to dominate, Clarke's free-kick flew in on 84 before Whyte competed the scoring.