Philip Lowry (19)
Jordan Owens (60)
Billy Joe Burns (66)

3

Philip Lowry celebrates opening the scoring (Picture: Stephen Hamilton/PressEye.com)

CRUES GO FURTHER AHEAD AFTER CARRICK WIN

Crusaders strengthened their grip at the top of table with this defeat of Carrick Rangers at Seaview.

The Crues almost raced into the lead during the opening exchanges when Richard Clarke tested Brian Neeson from distance only for the Carrick 'keeper to touch the ball onto an upright.

The chances followed in quick succession with Michael Carvill seeing an effort well saved while Jordan Owens was similarly denied with a low stop.

It was no surprise, then, when the Crues finally found a way through on 19 minutes through Philip Lowry after he turned the ball home from close range from Billy Joe Burns' right-sided cross.

Alan Keane might have added a second just after the half-hour mark but fired over from distance following a surge forward.

Jordan Forsythe will feel he should have doubled Crusaders' lead five minutes into the second half but couldn't keep the ball down despite having time and space.

Then, moments later, Lowry had the ball in the net again but it was ruled offside by referee Lee Tavinder.

However, the Crues did get their second on the hour when Owens nodded home at the back post

And it was 3-0 just six minutes after that when Burns darted down the left before beating Neeson from a tight angle.

Crusaders could even afford the luxury of an 83rd minute missed spot-kick when Clarke's effort was saved by Neeson low to his left.

Crusaders: O'Neill, Burns, Beverland, Lowry, Carvill, Forsythe, McClean, Owens, Clarke, Keane, Whyte subs Cushley (replaced Whyte 81), Mitchell (replaced Forsythe 77), Dougherty (not used), Suarez (not used), Brown (replaced Carvill 67)

Carrick Rangers: Neeson, Foster, Surgenor, Kelly, Taggart, McCullough, Clarke, Salley, T.J. Murray, Noble, McVey subs O'Brien (replaced Clarke 53), Elder (not used), McConnell (replaced Salley 64), Mustapha (replaced Taggart 35), Rice (not used)

Referee: Lee Tavinder

Attendance: 1372

Tags:  Carrick Rangers  Crusaders