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Live Reporting

Matt Gault

All times stated are UK

  1. Healy pleased with Linfield's 'overall game'

    Linfield 4-0 Crusaders

    Quote Message: We got a big goal early on which gave us a platform, but I thought our overall game was great. They have players who can hurt you, but we dealt with them really well. Andy [Waterworth] has been a revelation since I've been at the club. I have the utmost respect for Andy as a football player and as a man. He's a goalscorer and a leader. He's getting a bit older, we're trying to adapt but he keeps giving us big performances. We've had a couple of iffy results after Christmas but the boys have been an absolute credit. There have been questions asked about these players and of me as a manager, but we've answered back with our performance. from David Healy Linfield manager
    David HealyLinfield manager

    Linfield 4-0 Crusaders

    It's all over. The game and potentially the title race, that is, as Linfield extend their lead at the top of the table to nine points after a surprisingly straightforward 4-0 win over Crusaders at Windsor Park.

    Jimmy Callacher's deflected header gave Linfield the lead after two minutes. Andy Waterworth doubled the lead early in the second half before Callacher's thumping header made it 3-0. Stephen Fallon added a late fourth after Howard Beverland had been sent off as Linfield send out a big statement to their title rivals.

    A nightmare evening for Stephen Baxter's men as David Healy's Blues march on.

  3. GOAL

    Linfield 4-0 Crusaders

    Stephen Fallon makes it 4-0. Misery complete for Crusaders.

    It's the pick of the goals, too, as Cooper coaxes a lovely reverse ball into Fallon, whose finish is clinical as he rubber-stamps a statement performance by the Blues.


    Linfield 3-0 Crusaders

    Friday Night Football co-commentator Oran Kearney gives his man of the match verdict.

    It's Kirk Millar, whose typically pinpoint deliveries from set-pieces have been key to yet another Linfield victory.

  5. WIDE!

    Linfield 3-0 Crusaders

    Lavery forces his way through the Crusaders defence but snatches at his shot and it goes wide.


    Linfield 3-0 Crusaders

    Howard Beverland receives his second yellow card after pulling Shayne Lavery back and he has to go.

    Crusaders' night goes from bad to worse.

  7. Post update

    Linfield 3-0 Crusaders

    The game has ended as a contest unfortunately. Seven minutes remaining and Linfield are coasting to three precious points.

    It's been extremely disappointing from a Crusaders perspective this evening, and certainly not what their supporters wanted to see after the League Cup final.

  8. Post update

    Linfield 3-0 Crusaders

    It was a bad start, but it's only gotten worse for Crusaders, who look well and truly beaten.

    Barring a miraculous comeback in the final 20 minutes, Linfield are going nine points clear at the top of the table.

  9. GOAL

    Linfield 3-0 Crusaders

    Jimmy Callacher makes it 3-0! No doubt this time - it's definitely his goal.

    It's another Kirk Millar corner, which is swung devilishly into the six-yard area where Callacher, who'd escaped Jordan Owens, thumped his header past a helpless Doherty.


    Linfield 2-0 Crusaders

    It's starting to heat up, but Crusaders are running out of time.

    We've played an hour now, so there's plenty of time for Reece McGinley to make an impression. The 19-year-old has just replaced Caddell.

  11. Linfield wanted a penalty

    Linfield 2-0 Crusaders

    The hosts feel Declan Caddell used his arms to block Cooper's shot but the referee wasn't interested.

  12. SAVE!

    Linfield 2-0 Crusaders

    It could have been three! Cooper again causes problems as he skips away from O'Rourke before getting his shot away. It's charged down but only to Casement, whose shot - and the rebound - is palmed away by Doherty.

  13. What a chance!

    Linfield 2-0 Crusaders

    Jamie McGonigle, who spurned a chance to equalise for Crusaders in the League Cup final last week, has passed up another presentable opportunity as he directs his header straight at Ferguson after Forsythe's cross.

  14. GOAL

    Linfield 2-0 Crusaders

    Andrew Waterworth doubles Linfield's lead!

    Joel Cooper, typically elusive, somehow weaves his way through the Crusaders defence. He loses it but the Crues defence are unable to clear. It falls to Millar, whose mishit shot is fired into the roof of the net by Waterworth from point-blank range.

    That's his 19th goal of the season, and it may be enough to wrap up all three points for David Healy's side.

  15. SAVE!

    Linfield 1-0 Crusaders

    Stewart breaks through the middle and finds Waterworth on the left. He takes the shot early and produces the save from Doherty.

  16. We're off again!

    Linfield 1-0 Crusaders

    Half-time substitution for Crusaders with Jordan Forsythe replacing Philip Lowry.

  17. 'Deficit wouldn't be insurmountable'

    Linfield 1-0 Crusaders

    David Jeffrey

    Ballymena United manager on BBC2 NI

    David Jeffrey admits it would be difficult for Crusaders to recover from an 11-point deficit if they lost tonight.

    Quote Message: I think it would be sizeable, but not insurmountable. There are going to be so many twists and turns. Anyone can beat anyone. If you go further behind, it makes it more difficult for Crusaders. Linfield look most impressive this evening, they're working hard defensively and they have the bit between their teeth.
  18. Sympathy for the referee - Jeffrey

    Linfield 1-0 Crusaders

    David Jeffrey

    Ballymena United manager on BBC2 NI

    Quote Message: It does come off the elbow of Mark Haughey and by the letter of the law, it should be disallowed. There is no chance that referee Keith Kennedy can spot that. It's taken us five replays to determine that it's a handball.

    Linfield 1-0 Crusaders

    So far, so good for Linfield, who lead thanks to Jimmy Callacher's deflected header after just 90 seconds.

    It's been a poor game of football, though.

    Let's hope it improves.

  20. Post update

    Linfield 1-0 Crusaders

    Jordan Stewart dances his way to the by-line down the left and clips an inviting cross into the six-yard area. Thankfully for Crusaders, however, Brown is well-placed to head the ball to safety.