Jordan Owens (10)
Paul Heatley (46)

2

Andrew Waterworth (61)

1

Paul Heatley celebrates after putting Crusaders two-up (Picture: Stephen Hamilton/PressEye.com)

OWENS AND HEATLEY ON TARGET AS CRUES CLOSE GAP

Crusaders moved to within a point of leaders Linfield with this New Years' Day victory at Seaview.

Jordan Owens opening the scoring with what proved to be the first goal of 2015 after ten minutes when, from a Richard Clarke free-kick, he was given the space to turn the ball home at the back post.

Indeed, the Crues remained on top throughout the first half with Owens threatenng again on 19 minutes before Timmy Adamson turned the ball just wide a short time later.

Linfield's best chance came midway through the first half when a Stephen Lowry free-kick was cleared over his own bar by Colin Coates.

Paul Heatley doubled the lead for the Crues with the first move of the second half after Gavin Whyte crossed the ball from the right for him to knock past Ross Glendinning from close range.

However, the Blues pulled a goal back just after the hour when Andrew Waterworth cut inside to fire the ball beyond Sean O'Neill into the bottom corner.

Heatley almost restored Crusaders' two-goal cushion a short time later with a superb overhead kick which looked destined for the net until Glendinning just about hooked it away.

Linfield came close to levelling with a quarter-of-an-hour remaining after Lowry cut the ball back for Sammy Morrow to have an effort on goal only for a deflection to turn the ball just wide.

Crusaders: O'Neill, Burns, Coates, Robinson, McClean, Caddell, Clarke, Heatley, Whyte, Adamson, Owens subs Hanley (not used), Friars (not used), Snoddy (replaced Heatley 86), O'Carroll (not used), Cockcroft (not used)

Linfield: Ross Glendinning, Haughey, Callacher, Waterworth, Lowry, Morrow, Mulgrew, Reece Glendinning, Brown, Clucas, Quinn subs Richards (replaced Haughey 26), Thompson (not used), Carvill (replaced Brown 70), R. Clarke (replaced Clucas 49), Tuffey (not used)

Referee: Colin Burns

Attendance: 2679

Tags:  Crusaders  Linfield