Irish Premier League
Crusaders Scorers :
Jordan Owens (15', 86')
Linfield Yellow Cards :
Andy Waterworth, Josh Robinson, Mark Haughey
Linfield Red Card :
Crusaders Yellow Card :
Linfield Team :
Roy Carroll (GK), Mark Haughey ©, Josh Robinson, Mark Stafford, Matthew Clarke (Louis Rooney 87’), Kirk Millar, Andrew Mitchell, Stephen Lowry, Stephen Fallon (Achille Campion 71’), Kurtis Byrne (Ryan Strain 71’), Andy Waterworth
Linfield Subs not used :
Crusaders Team :
Brian Jensen (GK), BJ Burns, Howard Beverland, Colin Coates ©, Sean Ward, Philip Lowry, Matthew Snoddy, Michael Carvill (David Cushley 90+2’), Gavin Whyte (Jordan Forsythe 90’), Paul Heatley (Jamie Glackin 78’), Jordan Owens
Crusaders Subs not used :
Sean O'Neill, Jonny Bonner
Linfield moved back down to fourth in the Danske Bank Premiership table with defeat away to title hopefuls Crusaders. Jordan Owens scored in both halves, before a disappointing afternoon was rounded off with Linfield’s Andrew Mitchell being sent off.
Crusaders drew first blood on 15 minutes with a well-worked move, Michael Carvill reversing the ball onto the overlapping Billy Joe Burns down the right. He fizzed in a low cross for Jordan Owens at the back post to take a touch and hammer the ball into the roof of the net. 1-0.
The Blues almost made an immediate response with a slick counter-attacking move with Andrew Waterworth racing up the pitch, crossing deep for Kurtis Byrne who had the awareness to pick out Stephen Fallon in the middle, but Crusaders ‘keeper Brian Jensen was out quickly to smother the danger.
Jensen just about denied Fallon again on the half-hour mark when he spilled Kurtis Byrne’s shot from distance into the path of the onrushing Fallon, but Jensen, again, did enough to block.
It was a case of ‘you attack, we attack’ as Roy Carroll produced a fine, outstretched save to push away Billy Joe Burns’ cross-come-shot which was seemingly heading for the top corner.
The final chance of the half fell Linfield’s way with Stephen Fallon flicking the ball into Waterworth’s path. The striker got an instinctive shot away and it looked set for the corner but Jensen produced a smart save. The Crues went into the break with a one goal lead, but either team could have scored a couple more.
Half Time: Crusaders 1 – 0 Linfield
Roy Carroll showed his class with a top save just moments after the break to deny Gavin Whyte’s low strike from Paul Heatley’s free-kick lay-off on the edge of the box.
The experienced goalkeeper stunned Seaview once again with a reactive stop to push away Jordan Owens’ flick-on stooping header from a free-kick.
The Hatchetmen made sure of their victory for the important second goal on 87 minutes when Matthew Snoddy capitalised on some relaxed defending to tee up Billy Joe Burns to get a cross away – his crosses was a peach for Jordan Owens to head home a trademark header in the middle.
Linfield’s disappointments were compounded on 89 minutes when they were reduced to ten men with Andrew Mitchell being dismissed for a hard challenge on Crusaders’ Jamie Glackin.
Billy Joe Burns almost added a goal to his two assists for the afternoon when he raced in on goal but Roy Carroll came to Linfield’s rescue once again to block the thunderous strike.
Full Time: Crusaders 2 – 0 Linfield
LinfieldFC.com Man of the Match : Roy Carroll