Match Details
Season :
Date :
12th September 2017
Competition :
Irish Premier League
Venue :
Referee :
Andrew Davey
Linfield Scorer :
Stafford 61'
Crusaders Scorers :
Forsythe 25', Heatley 30'
Linfield Yellow Card :
Crusaders Yellow Cards :
Brown, Forsythe, Heatley, Coates, Carvill
Linfield Team :
Carroll (GK), Casement, Haughey, Stafford, M Clarke (J Stewart 83), Mitchell (Millar 62'), Lowry, Mulgrew (C), Quinn, Burns, Rooney (Adams 64')
Linfield Subs not used :
Garrett, Robinson
Crusaders Team :
Jensen (JK), BJ Burns, Ward, Coates (C), Brown, Caddell (Snoddy 62), P Lowry, Forsythe, Heatley, Carvill (Whyte 75), Owens
Crusaders Subs not used :
Beverland, Cushley
Linfield's eight-month unbeaten run in domestic competitions came to an end tonight despite a brave second half performance at Seaview. Two first half goals for the Hatchetmen ultimately made the difference, with a second half Linfield onslaught not quite enough to grab an equaliser.

Aaron Burns was first to threaten on seven minutes when the ball broke following a defensive mix-up between Crusaders' Brian Jensen and Colin Coates, but Burns fired just over from distance with the angle against him.

Crusaders then made Roy Carroll work when Jordan Owens picked up on a loose ball before turning and shooting from 15 yards to which Carroll did well to palm the ball away despite being relatively unsighted.

Former Hatchetmen Andrew Mitchell almost sickened his former club with a dipping volley from distance after the ball sat up nicely. Fortunately for Crusaders, the ball whistled past the post.

Crusaders broke the deadlock on 25 minutes when Jordan Forsyth produced a fine strike into the top corner after being slipped in by Paul Heatley as the Linfield defence was breached for the first time this season.

Paul Heatley then made it 2-0 to Crusaders on the half-hour mark, unleashing a stunning half-volley into the top corner. Shortly after, Jordan Owens probably should have made it three but he headed over from close range.

Half Time: Crusaders 2 - 0 Linfield

Linfield came out in the second half with a lot more purpose and were denied by a crucial block by Sean Ward to keep out Stephen Lowry's low shot

However, Linfield grabbed a deserved lifeline on 61 minutes when Aaron Burns brought down a free-kick, slammed the ball across the face of goal and big Mark Stafford was lurking at the back post to fire the ball home. Linfield and their supporters were revitalised.

The Blues continued to pressurise and dominated the second half, unfortunately the equaliser wasn't forthcoming. Crusaders also went close to putting the game beyond doubt against the run of play but Heatley's deflected effort drifted just wide.

Ultimately, Linfield just came up short in the end but it wasn't for the want of trying. The Blues supporters will take a positive from the heart and desire which David Healy's men showed in the second half.

Full Time: Crusaders 2 - 1 Linfield Man of the Match: Mark Stafford

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