Irish Premiership: Linfield 1-2 Crusaders

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Crusaders beat Linfield 2-1 at Windsor park to earn three points at Windsor Park

Crusaders moved up to third place in the table as first-half goals from skipper Colin Coates and Paul Heatley ensured a 2-1 win over Linfield.

Coates celebrated his 400th appearance for the Crues by opening the scoring with a 22-yard free-kick on 33 minutes.

Heatley bent a right-foot shot into the top corner three minutes later.

Andy Waterworth pulled one back with a glancing header from Michael Carvill's cross into the box in the 50th minute but the Blues drop to fifth position.

Stephen Baxter's side had the better of the early chances but Timmy Adamson shot over the top and Diarmuid O'Carroll skied an effort over the bar.

Gavin Whyte was off-target with another scoring opportunity while, for the hosts, Aaron Burns shot wide from outside the area and Matthew Clarke had a drive blocked by visiting goalkeeper Sean O'Neill.

Coates's superbly struck free-kick nudged his side in front, then Heatley finished a first-time shot with some aplomb after O'Carroll had cut the ball inside to him.

O'Carroll's shot was palmed away by Jonny Tuffey, who also denied Ross Clarke, while Sean Ward's rising effort went over the top.

Waterworth's fifth goal of the season brought Warren Feeney's team back into the match and the striker later had an effort smothered by O'Neill.

Tuffey made another fine stop from Whyte, Chris Hegarty cleared off the line and then Stephen Lowry glanced a header just wide in the latter stages.

The Blues have now suffered consecutive defeats at Windsor Park, having lost to Cliftonville at home last week.

Crusaders manager Stephen Baxter: "It was a tough game and it's a difficult place to come - Linfield play a good passing game, but we did enough to see it out.

"The wind was howling but the pitch is great to play on. We got Linfield and scored our goals at good times - they were quality goals from both Colin and Paul."

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