Irish Premiership: Glenavon 1-2 Crusaders

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Glenavon 1 Crusaders 2

Champions Crusaders made it back-to-back Premiership wins as a Matthew Snoddy strike and an own goal by Kyle Neill secured the points at Glenavon.

Midfielder Snoddy drilled in a loose ball on 49 minutes after Paul Heatley's initial effort had been blocked on the goal-line.

Glenavon equalised through birthday boy James Singleton who converted from Andy Hall's cross on 65 minutes.

Eleven minutes later Michael Carvill's shot went in off Neill for the winner.

The victory puts Stephen Baxter's title holders on seven points from their opening four games and they jump over Glenavon and Coleraine to lie fourth in the table.

The Crues were made to work all the way by a Glenavon side who had been seeking a third successive league victory.

Gary Hamilton's hosts started brightly without creating that much in front of goal.

Kevin Braniff had an opportunity to produce one his trademark free-kicks but shot wide of the mark from about 25 yards.

Heatley saw his first-time volley from a Craig McClean cross saved by Jonathan Tuffey.

The former Partick keeper came to the rescue again when the best chance of the first half fell to Jordan Owens. The Crues striker ran on to a long Billy Joe Burns ball and Tuffey did well to block the well-struck right-foot shot.

Crusaders took the lead early in the second half through 22-year-old midfielder Snoddy who fired in a loose ball after Heatley's effort from Gavin Whyte's cross had been blocked on the line.

Glenavon, seeking three wins in a row, pushed for an equaliser and got their reward in the 65th minute.

Hall played a low ball in from the right to give Singleton the simple chance to mark his 20th birthday with a goal.

But it was to count for nothing as the Crues secured the victory.

Home defender Neill attempted to block former Linfield forward Carvill's shot but instead turned it into his own net.

"We kept our shape at the back which was important against Glenavon who have been lots of goals recently. It gave us a platform," said Crues skipper Colin Coates.

"We are not playing as well as we were at the end of last season. There are things we have to work on and we have some players to come back from injury."

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