Jordan Owens (39)
Paul Heatley (54)
Jordan Owens (73)

3

Jordan Owens is congratulated at Seaview (Picture: Cameron Hamilton/PressEye.com)

CRUES THUMP BLUES IN SEAVIEW TABLE-TOPPER

Defending champions Crusaders ripped Linfield's perfect start to the campaign to shreds with this three-goal victory at Seaview.

Billy Joe Burns came close midway through the half only to see his effort deflected just past the post by Mark Haughey.

Reece Glendinning was presented with a great chance on 25 minutes with a back post header but he couldn't prevent the ball going high and wide.

Other chances followed with Matthew Snoddy testing Ross Glendinning from distance while a Jordan Owens header drifted just wide before Kirk Millar failed to make the most of some good work by Guy Bates only to fire too high.

But the deadlock was broken six minutes from the break after Owens got his head to a Burns cross after getting between two defenders.

Paul Heatley made it 2-0 to the Crues on 54 minutes with a close range finish after the Linfield defence was static when a free-kick was played into the area.

Gavin Whyte almost added a third soon after only to fire over when well placed following a good flowing move.

But that third goal did arrive on 73 minutes with Owens' second header of the afternoon, again from another excellent Burns delivery.

Crusaders: O'Neill, Burns, Coates, McClean, Snoddy, Clarke, Heatley, O'Carroll, Owens, Whyte, Robinson subs Mitchell (replaced Whyte 79), O'Flynn (not used), Molloy (replaced Burns 88), Forsythe (replaced O'Carroll 70), McKibbin (not used)

Linfield: Glendinning, Haughey, Waterworth, Lowry, Bates, Millar, Burns, Ward, M. Clarke, Mulgrew, Glendinning subs Hegarty (not used), Kee (replaced Millar 57), Salley (replaced Bates 70), Quinn (not used), Deane (not used)

Referee: Arnold Hunter

Attendance: 2423

Tags:  Crusaders  Linfield