Julie Nelson (51)

1

Alison Smyth (11)
Jennifer McDade (31)
Amber Dempster (86)

3

LEADERS LINFIELD SEVEN POINTS CLEAR

Linfield extended their lead at the top of the Danske Bank Womens Premiership with a hard fought 3-1 victory over Crusaders Strikers at Seaview.

A win which gives the Blues a seven point cushion with five fixtures remaining.

The league leaders started the better and the first chance came on four minutes when Lyndsey Corry drove forward and shot from 20 yards but her effort was always rising.

The breakthrough came on 11 minutes when Linfield centre back Alison Smyth headed her side in front from eight yards from a quickly taken short corner down the left. Smyth's well guided header sailed into the top left corner giving Kirsty McCaughtry no chance.

The chances were coming thick and fast for the visitors and winger Clare Timoney had a golden opportunity to double the lead on 13 minutes but she could only fire wide of the right post after a Crues defensive mix up.

The inform Kirsty McGuinness shot low and hard and narrowly to the right side of the post on 23 minutes and five minutes later combined well with Jess Doran for Linfield.

Linfield where looking dangerous from set plays and on 32 minutes the lead was doubled.

A deadly delivery from McGuinness found the head of goal scorer Smyth who headed back across goal for Jennifer McDade to nod in from close range.

With the half coming to a close Ariel Lopez went closest for Crusaders after a mazy run she shot low and hard from 20 yards but straight at Nicole Adams.

After the break Crusaders looked to have more of a purpose and scored on 51 minutes through Julie Nelson's powerful header from a well-delivered corner.

The goal was only the third goal that Linfield have conceded this season and The Crues certainly let Linfield know the game wasn’t over.

The game was more competitive than the first half and Linfield responded to that goal and chances came and went for McGuinness who was picking up plenty of possession on the left wing.

Linfield however did take their chance through substitute Amber Dempster when she had to strength to outmuscle her opponent inside the area and shot hard and low across goal to find the bottom left corner.

A well weighted pass from McGuinness set up Dempster who sealed all three points for the Blues.

Crusaders Strikers: McCaughtry, Moore, Nelson, Hamilton, McGivern, McCann, Lopez, McNeill, Grattan, Doak, Wilson subs H. Mearns (not used), Beattie (replaced Doak 46), Carson (not used), Ogle (replaced Wilson 58), McDowell (replaced Lopez 46)

Linfield Ladies: Adams, Corry, Doherty, McDade, Timoney, Burrows, Venney, McGuinness, Doran, McFrederick, Smyth subs Ennis (replaced Timoney 90), Demspter (replaced Doran 65), Bell (replaced McFrederick 61), Drain (not used)

Referee: Glenn Taylor