Irish Premiership: Crusaders 4-1 Ards

Crusaders maintain their push for a top-three place with a comprehensive win over bottom club Ards at Seaview.

Crusaders eased to a Premiership victory against an Ards side still eight points adrift at the bottom.

Ross Arthurs slid in the opener for Ards but Crusaders hit back quickly through Eamon McAllister's volley.

Alan Blayney could only parry a Jordan Owens shot into the net as the hosts moved ahead before both sides were denied by the woodwork.

Gary McCutcheon added the third before Ards defender Mark Burns deflected McAllister's shot in for an own goal.

The basement boys struck in the first minute with Willie Faulkner putting Arthurs through to score.

McCutcheon was the star performer at Seaview, and his shot was blocked by keeper Alan Blayney with McAllister hitting the net on the follow-up for a 12th minute equaliser.

Blayney kept out Paul Heatley's effort with his legs before McCutcheon set up Owens to fire home from six yards on 24 minutes.

A cool finish from McCutcheon after 58 minutes made it 3-1 and Burns got the final touch to divert McAllister's strike beyond Blayney.

Crusaders stay fourth and a point behind Portadown but they have a game in hand.

"Ards started brightly but once we equalised we worked the ball in good areas," said Crusaders boss Stephen Baxter.

"At half-time I said we needed to lift the tempo and we did that - we opened them up and scored the goals that mattered."

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