Irish Premiership: Crusaders 3-0 Ballinamallard Utd

Crusaders move top in the Irish Premiership with a 3-0 victory over Ballinamallard at Seaview

Crusaders moved one point clear at the top of the Irish Premiership by beating Ballinamallard United 3-0 at Seaview.

Gavin Whyte 's cross from the left wing squirmed underneath the body of goalkeeper Stefan McCusker in the fourth minute to nudge the Crues ahead.

Jordan Owens headed in the rebound on 19 minutes after McCusker had saved Paul Heatley's initial effort.

Billy Joe Burns scored the third two minutes into added time at the end of the second half to secure the victory.

Coleraine's late equaliser to clinch a 1-1 draw against previous league leaders Linfield at Windsor Park added to the mood of celebration at the end of the game as it proved enough to send the north Belfast club to the summit.

McCusker's early mistake sent Stephen Baxter's side on their way to a fifth consecutive success and Owens had the simple job of nodding home the rebound after the visiting goalkeeper did well to deny Heatley's shot from a Whyte cross.

Johnny Courtney was off-target with one of the few chances created by the Mallards while, at the other end, Adamson headed over in the first half and Caddell shot straight at McCusker in the second.

Burns completed the scoring by executing a simple finish after dispossessing a defender inside the area so the Mallards fail to add to their tally of just five points on the road so far this season.

Crusaders manager Stephen Baxter: "It's nice to go top but it doesn't mean an awful lot in the overall scheme of things.

"There are so many matches to go and we are one ahead of the chasing pack, but we could easily be three behind again in another few weeks.

"We are one of four sides who have broken away a bit but we must keep playing well consistently."

Jordan Owens headed home Crusaders's second goal against Ballinamallard at Seaview
Jordan Owens headed home Crusaders's second goal against Ballinamallard at Seaview