Irish Premiership: Crusaders 1-0 Glenavon

Colin Coates and Paul Heatley
Colin Coates embraces Paul Heatley after the winger put Crusaders ahead against Glenavon

Paul Heatley's early goal was enough to earn champions Crusaders victory over Glenavon as the Seaview outfit moved level on points with leaders Linfield.

Heatley, who was at the centre of all the best Crusaders work, fired his side ahead on three minutes after brushing off Rhys Marshall before firing home.

Glenavon keeper Jonny Tuffey denied two more Heatley goals before the break.

As Crusaders lost their way in the second half, Eoin Bradley missed a glorious chance.

After Heatley's third-minute goal, Glenavon hit the woodwork three minutes later as Andy Hall's attempted cross floated on to the crossbar.

Late in the first half, Heatley tested Tuffy with two superb efforts before Bradley's piledriver went straight at O'Neill at the other end.

As Crusaders lost their way somewhat after the break, Glenavon began to produce pressure with a Kyle Neill cross only needing a touch before Rhys Marshall tested O'Neill from range.

As Kevin Braniff became increasingly influential, Glenavon continued to produce pressure before their big chance fell to Derry GAA player Bradley on 69 minutes.

After running clear of the Crusaders defence, Bradley had only O'Neill to beat but the striker delayed his shot and then poked wide after O'Neill had narrowed the angle.

Following the let-off, Crusaders did pick up the pace again and the impressive Tuffy made fine saves to deny Michael Carvill and Jordan Owens.

The victory moves the Crues level on points with Linfield but the Blues remain on top on goals scored.

Danske Bank Irish Premiership
Ballymena Utd1-0Dungannon Swifts
Linfield1-1Carrick Rangers
Portadown0-3Ballinamallard Utd
Warrenpoint Town0-1Glentoran

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