Irish Premiership: Crusaders 3-0 Coleraine

Gavin Whyte scores the first goal for Crusaders against Coleraine

Crusaders moved to the top of the Irish Premiership by beating Coleraine at Seaview on Friday night.

Highly-rated prospect Gavin Whyte blasted in the opener from just a few yards out in the 28th minute.

Mark Miskimmin had a chance to equalise just before half-time but home keeper Sean O'Neill saved with his legs.

Winger Paul Heatley shot Crusaders into a 2-0 lead in the 67th minute and soon afterwards striker Jordan Owens netted a simple header for the third goal.

The Crues are two points ahead of Portadown and champions Cliftonville who are both in action on Saturday.

The Ports are away to Dungannon Swifts while Cliftonville are at Glenavon.

Coleraine had their chances in an entertaining encounter on the Shore Road.

Neil McCafferty's well-struck free-kick from the edge of the box was well save by O'Neill on 19 minutes.

O'Neill saved again to deny Miskimmin and from the rebound Shane McGinty's effort was deflected on to the bar by home defender Craig McClean.

Whyte pounced for the opener after Heatley's attempt from a tight angle had been blocked on the line.

It was Heatley who beat defender David Ogilby to the ball to shoot in the second goal and Owens could hardly miss with the header which made it 3-0 in the 74th minute.

Crusaders manager Stephen Baxter: "We are aiming to stay in the race and have to stay focused on the job in hand.

"We are in the right place at the moment and there are so many matches to go.

"It is nice to win your home games and we then hope to pick up some points on the road."