Diarmuid O'Carroll (47)

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Jordan Owens and Michael Carvill are denied by Warrenpoint 'keeper Aaron Shanahan (Picture: Stephen Hamilton/PressEye.com)

CHAMPIONS CRUES BACK ON TOP

Crusaders returned to the top of the standings thanks to this narrow defeat of Warrenpoint Town at Seaview.

The Crues looked the more likely to score during the opening 20 minutes or so with Andrew Mitchell creating their best effort with a missed close range header after Michael Carvill had swung over a cross.

Diarmuid O'Carroll also had an effort saved by Aaron Shanahan from 10 yards out as the Crues searched for a way through.

Then, on 34 minutes, Billy Joe Burns crossed for Jordan Owens but his close range turn and shot was well saved by Shanahan.

The 'Point 'keeper later denied Mitchell from a snap shot before being finally beating on towards the break only for Owens' 'goal' to be ruled out offside.

Stephen Baxter's side finally moved in front a couple of minutes into the second half after the visting defence failed to clear the ball which allowed Burns to float over a cross for O'Carroll to glance home from eight yards.

Josh Robinson thought he had doubled their advantage a few minutes later after he found the net at the near post after a Richard Clarke free-kick had been flicked on but this was ruled out offside.

Then, not long after the hour mark, Owens struck the crossbar from around seven yards after bringing the ball down and lifting it over Shanahan.

Crusaders: O'Neill, Robinson, Coates, McClean, Mitchell, Snoddy, Clarke, Carvill, O'Carroll, Owens, Burns subs McKibbin (not used), Molloy (replaced Carvill 88), O'Flynn (not used), Vauls (not used), Magowan (not used)

Warrenpoint Town: Shanahan, King, McVeigh, McDonald, D. Hughes, S. Hughes, McCabe, Dane, Bagnall, Moan, Boyle subs Clarke (not used), Murray (replaced McCabe 81), M. Hughes (replaced McDonald 62), Kierans (not used), Donnelly (replaced King 85)

Referee: Evan Boyce

Attendance: 753

Tags:  Crusaders  Warrenpoint Town