Irish Premiership: Warrenpoint Town 1-1 Crusaders

Warrenpoint and Crusaders earn a point each after a 1-1 draw at Milltown

Crusaders saw their fading Premiership title hopes take a further hit as they were held to a draw by 10-man Warrenpoint Town at Milltown.

The Crues are now eight points adrift of Linfield as Paul Heatley's goal was cancelled out by a Marty Havern goal.

Heatley struck the Crues ahead on five minutes and Warrenpoint's Darren King was sent-off on 54 minutes after being handed a second yellow card.

But Havern levelled on 68 minutes as the Crues paid for missed chances.

Even before his fifth-minute goal, Heatley missed an opportunity as he fired straight at Jonathan Parr while the Warrenpoint keeper denied Josh Robinson in the first half with Gary McCutcheon also firing over.

The Crues had further opportunities to put the match to bed after the restart as Declan Caddell failed to find the unmarked Jordan Owens and then wasted a chance himself as he fired straight at Parr.

Sean Parr did attempt to rally the home side in the first half as he fired a long-range effort just wide and then tested Sean O'Neill with another effort from distance.

Despite their profligacy, the Crues still looked certain to take the points - particularly when King was dismissed after getting his second yellow card on 54 minutes.

However, strugglers Warrenpoint were suddenly on terms in the 68th minute as he curled a superb shot past O'Neill.

Crusaders produced huff and puff in the closing stages as they chased a winner but Warrenpoint's admirable resolve ensured that they held on for a surprise point as Stephen Baxter's side were held to a frustrating fifth draw in seven games.