Jordan Owens (20)


Jordan Owens scored the only goal of the game (©INPHO/Stephen Hamilton)


Crusaders moved into second spot in the Danske Bank Premiership thanks to a narrow victory over fellow challengers Coleraine at The Showgrounds.

After a tentative start to proceedings the Crues moved in front with what proved to be the only goal of the evening when, on 20 minutes, Jordan Owens headed home at the far post after Jordan Forsythe had crossed from the right flank.

That sparked a flurry of activity in both goalmouths. Just two minutes after falling behind Coleraine were unlucky not to get back on level terms when an Eoin Bradley ball into the area was touched against his own post by Billy Joe Burns while, moments later, James McLaughlin saw an acrobatic effort superbly stopped by Gerard Doherty.

Then, almost straightaway, play switched to the other end with Jamie McGonigle only being denied by the feet of Coleraine keeper Chris Johns.

Johns then gathered another effort, this time from David Cushley, a few minutes after that.

Crusaders twice had chances just before the break to add to their lead when Paul Heatley did well to hold off Lyndon Kane to force Johns into a save before Owens almost profited on a defensive mistake only to fire across the face of goal.

Coleraine came out in determined mood after the interval in search of the equaliser. Josh Carson turned the ball just wide at the back post from Aaron Traynor's cross before Glackin ran into the box but could only fire over. Carson then had another chance after that but it took a deflection off Philip Lowry.

Perhaps their best chance of the evening came just after the hour when McLaughlin flicked a header goalbound in a crowded box only for Jarlath O'Rourke to preserve Crusaders' lead with a goalline clearance.

But it might have been 2-0 on 70 minutes when, following a Stephen O'Donnell error, Heatley found himself through but he failed to trouble Johns.

For all their industry Coleraine couldn't claw their way back into the game although O'Donnell did come close in the closing moments but could only head over from Glackin's cross.

Coleraine: Johns, Kane, Canning, Doherty, Lowry, McLaughlin, Bradley, Carson, McConaghie, Glackin, Traynor subs Gallagher (not used), Douglas (not used), O'Donnell (replaced Canning 54), Parkhill (not used), Gawne (replaced Doherty 70), McGuckin (not used), Fitzpatrick (replaced McLaughlin 70)

Crusaders: Doherty, Burns, Lowry, McGonigle, Cushley, Caddell, Forsythe, O'Rourke, Owens, Brown, Heatley subs O'Neill (not used), Hegarty (not used), Beverland (not used), Ruddy (not used), Thompson (replaced Cushley 67), McGinley (not used), McElroy (replaced McGonigle 83)

Referee: Ian McNabb

Attendance: 1416

Tags:  Coleraine  Crusaders