Philip Lowry celebrates after heading Crusaders in front (©INPHO/Stephen Hamilton)
Saturday, 14 September 2019
Crusaders moved six points clear at the top of the table following an entertaining victory over Glenavon at Seaview.
The league leaders fell behind after just 40 seconds when, from a Paddy Burns cross, Rhys Marshall headed Glenavon in front.
Crusaders levelled on 13 minutes, however, courtesy on an acrobatic volley from Paul Heatley after Jordan Forsythe found him unmarked with a chip into the box.
Stephen Baxter's side might have moved in front midway through the first half but were thwarted by a great stop from Johnny Tuffey who denied Philip Lowry after he pounced on a poor clearance from Andrew Doyle.
At the other end Andy Hall flashed a half volley just wide of Sean O'Neill's near post before play switched again for Jamie McGonigle to drag the ball the wrong side of Tuffey's right post.
Glenavon came close again moments from the break through a Robert Garrett 25-yard drive which O'Neill saved with Andrew Mitchell's follow up cleared off the line by Michael Ruddy.
Garrett had another go from distance early in the second half, this time a 30-yard free-kick, which O'Neill pushed around the post.
But, on 54 minutes, Lowry seized the advantage for the Crues with a close range header after Forsythe had flicked on a corner.
Mitchell had the ball in the net after that but he had been flagged offside in the build up although he wasn't to be denied on 69 minutes, slotting home from the spot after he had been upended by Howard Beverland.
Back came the Crues, regaining the lead ten minutes later with another penalty. Aaron Harmon was the guilty party with a foul on Heatley whilst David Cushley made no mistake with a clinical finish into the bottom corner.
Then, deep into stoppage time, referee Jamie Robinson pointed to the spot for the third time after a foul on Conor McCloskey but Glenavon's Josh Daniels could only look on as his penalty was saved by O'Neill with a dive to his left.
Crusaders: O'Neill, Burns, Hegarty, Beverland, Lowry, McGonigle, Hale, Forsythe, Ruddy, Heatley, Clarke subs Doherty (not used), Ward (not used), Cushley (replaced Clarke 73), Caddell (replaced McGonigle 86), K. Owens (not used), Thompson (not used), McElroy (replaced Hale 73)
Glenavon: Tuffey, Burns, Doyle, Daniels, Marshall, Mitchell, Hall, Harmon, O'Mahony, Singleton, Garrett subs Taylor (not used), Larmour (replaced Singleton 63), McCloskey (replaced O'Mahony 59), Beggs (replaced Hall 84), Murray (not used), Jenkins (not used), Neill (not used)
Referee: Jamie Robinson
|Billy Joe Burns|
|Chris Hegarty||90 +3|