Mark Stafford (38)
Aaron Burns (56)


Paul Heatley (22)
Mark Stafford (OG) (33)
Gavin Whyte (44)
Jimmy Callacher (OG) (81)
Philip Lowry (87)


Philip Lowry celebrates scoring Crusaders' fifth (©INPHO/Stephen Hamilton)


Crusaders moved into third spot in the Danske Bank Premiership with a five-star defeat of Linfield in front of the Sky Sports cameras at Windsor Park.

Stephen Baxter's side moved in front after 22 minutes when, from a Jordan Forsythe cross, Paul Heatley turned the ball past Roy Carroll into the opposite corner from the edge of the area.

Then, just after the half-hour mark, it was 2-0 after a Mark McChrystal cross into the box was directed into his own net by Linfield defender Mark Stafford as he put his leg out in an attempt to clear the danger.

Stafford did redeem himself a short time after that, however, with a glancing header from Kirk Millar's corner to reduce the deficit.

But the Crues restored their two goal cushion just before the break thanks to Gavin Whyte's left-foot finish after Matthew Snoddy's initial effort cannoned back off the crossbar.

The Blues fought back once again on 56 minutes courtesy of Aaron Burns' guided header from Andrew Mitchell's cross before almost levelling only for Matthew Clarke's shot to be cleared off the line by McChrystal.

However, the Crues made sure of the points with two goals in the last ten minutes.

On 81 minutes they benefitted from a second own goal with Jimmy Callacher the unfortunate victim on this occasion when Whyte's shot on goal deflected off him beyond Carroll.

Whyte also had a huge part to play in Crusaders' fifth in the closing moments after he turned provider to cue up Philip Lowry to complete the scoring.

Linfield: Carroll, Stafford, Haughey, Callacher, Waterworth, Lowry, Millar, Burns, M. Clarke, Garrett, Mitchell subs Robinson (not used), C. Stewart (not used), J. Stewart (replaced Millar 59), Rooney (replaced Mitchell 79), Quinn (not used)

Crusaders: Jensen, Burns, Beverland, Coates, Snoddy, Caddell, Forsythe, Heatley, Owens, Whyte, McChrystal subs Dougherty (not used), Ward (replaced Snoddy 90+3), Cushley (not used), Carvill (replaced Whyte 90+3), Lowry (replaced Heatley 81)

Referee: Tim Marshall

Attendance: 2491

Tags:  Crusaders  Linfield