Irish Premiership: Ards 1-4 Crusaders

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Ards 1-4 Crusaders

Crusaders are the new leaders of the Irish Premiership on goal difference after a superb 4-1 win away to Ards.

Veteran striker Gary McCutcheon opened the scoring on 15 minutes while Chris Morrow had a penalty saved by Ards keeper Graeme McKibben.

Jordan Owens headed in number two on 25 minutes and Paul Heatley quickly added number number three for the Crues.

McCutcheon fired in a fine fourth while Neil Dougan pulled one back for Ards who fall to the bottom of the table.

The Crues had started the day three points behind Linfield at the top of the table but, with the Blues losing 3-0 at Cliftonville, Stephen Baxter's side take over at the top.

Since losing their first two league fixtures back in August, Crusaders have won 10 and drawn six in the Premiership.

Their latest victory looked signed and sealed by the interval as they held a 3-0 lead at Clandeboye Park.

McCutcheon was presented with a tap-in for the opening goal after Heatley's deflected shot fell right for him.

The penalty came four minutes later when Steven McCullough tripped Crues midfielder Eamon McAlister but Morrow saw his spot-kick saved.

Owens made it 2-0 after Heatley had delivered the cross, and then Heatley himself raced through to lift his finish over keeper McKibben.

McCutcheon curled in a right-foot shot from the edge of the box into the top corner to make it 4-0 and Dougan's goal in the 62nd minute was mere consolation for Neil Currie's Ards.

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