Ivan Sproule (24)
Michael Carvill (31)
Andrew Waterworth (90 2)

3

Paul Heatley (47)

1

Andrew Waterworth and David Magowan contest a header (Picture: William Cherry/PressEye.com)

BLUES SECURE RUNNERS-UP SPOT

Linfield secured second spot in the Danske Bank Premiership following this defeat of champions Crusaders at The Oval.

The Crues almost got off to a perfect start when, as early as the third minute, Diarmuid O'Carroll smashed a shot off the underside of the bar.

And Stephen Baxter's side were frustrated by the woodwork again just a couple of minutes after that when Paul Heatley made the most of a botched Johnny Tuffey clearance to once more strike the crossbar.

Linfield moved in front on 24 minutes after Ivan Sproule picked up a Ross Clarke cross from the left to get past Craig McClean to beat Sean O'Neill from a tight angle.

Warren Feeney's side doubled their advantage seven minutes after that courtesy of a Michael Carvill turn and low finish just inside the box.

Paul Heatley pulled one back for Crusaders two minutes into the second half. He collected a perfect through ball from substitute Stephen O'Flynn before touching it past Tuffey and guiding it into the empty net.

Linfield were reduced to ten men on 79 minutes following Sproule's dismissal after an off the ball incident with McClean.

But, a couple of minutes into added time, Andrew Waterworth restored their two-goal cushion after racing clear of the defence to tuck the ball beyond O'Neill.

Linfield: Tuffey, Haughey, Callacher, Waterworth, Lowry, Carvill, Burns, Ward, M. Clarke, Sproule, R. Clarke subs Ross Glendinning (not used), Thompson (not used), Millar (not used), Morrow (not used), Quinn (not used)

Crusaders: O'Neill, Burns, Coates, Magowan, Robinson, Caddell, Adamson, Heatley, O'Carroll, Owens, McClean subs Hanley (not used), McKibbin (not used), Leeman (not used), O'Flynn (replaced Magowan 46), Clarke (replaced Caddell 65)

Referee: Andrew Davey

Attendance: 1000

Tags:  Crusaders  Linfield