David Cushley (6)

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David Cushley celebrates scoring the only goal of the game (©INPHO/Stephen Hamilton)

CUSHLEY BLASTS CRUES TO SHOWGROUNDS POINTS

A David Cushley strike after just six minutes helped Crusaders defeat Newry City at The Showgrounds.

The win moves Stephen Baxter's side level with Linfield at the top of the table on 50 points, albeit having played two games more and with an inferior goal difference.

Cushley opened the scoring with what proved to be the only goal of the game when he collected the ball from Paul Heatley around 20 yards out before sending a superbly executed left-foot strike curling into the net just inside the post.

Crusaders might have doubled their lead eight minutes later when the ball fell for Heatley inside the area but he could only flash an effort wide of the far post.

Then, early in the second half, Cushley teed up Jordan Forsythe just outside the box but his shot was only a matter of inches over the bar while, for Newry, Stephen Teggart had a go from a similar distance only for the ball to rise too much.

Cushley came close just before the hour after getting on the end of a Jordan Owens knock down but could only look on as his goalbound effort was deflected off Noel Healy onto the post.

Chasing something from the game, Newry saw an inswinging Mark Hughes free-kick test keeper Gerard Doherty while Thomas McCann sent a late effort over the bar.

Newry City: Coleman, King, Noonan, Boyle, McCann, Walker, S. Hughes, Lavery, Teggart, Montgomery, Healy subs Maguire (not used), Mooney (not used), M. Hughes (replaced Lavery 67), Moody (replaced Montgomery 72), Rushe (not used), Delaney (replaced S. Hughes 85), Durnin (not used)

Crusaders: G. Doherty, Burns, Coates, Lowry, Cushley, Forsythe, K. Owens, J. Owens, Brown, Heatley, Rr. Hale subs O'Neill (not used), Caddell (replaced Rr. Hale 72), Snoddy (replaced Forsythe 72), Clarke (replaced Cushley 90+1), McGinley (not used), Patterson (not used), Rn. Hale (not used)

Referee: Shane Andrews

Attendance: 801

Tags:  Crusaders  Newry City