Irish Premiership: Crusaders 3-2 Institute

Jordan Owens scores the winner as Crusaders get the better of Institute in a five-goal thriller at Seaview.

Crusaders have moved top of the Premiership after a thrilling 3-2 victory over Institute at Seaview.

Both sides squandered first-half chances before Stephen O'Flynn bundled in a 49th minute opener for Institute.

Paul Heatley levelled with a volley but O'Flynn headed the visitors back in front before Heatley's superb strike on the hour made it 2-2.

O'Flynn fired a penalty wide before substitute Jordan Owens headed home the winner on 78 minutes.

The hosts started strongly but Institute settled into the game and O'Flynn wasted a good chance by heading over from Declan McKeever's cross.

Crues regained control before the break with striker Dairmuid O'Carroll firing wide at the backpost before Gavin Whyte broke clear but saw his shot saved by keeper Eugene Ferry.

O'Flynn made the breakthrough in a dramatic second half with the final touch in a goalmouth scramble from Stephen Curry's dangerous cross.

It was the first of four goals in 11 minutes with the impressive Heatley drilling past Ferry after 56 minutes.

Institute were back in front just seconds later, O'Flynn's bullet header flying into the corner of the Crues net.

Heatley completed his double with a wonderful finish, connecting with a neat McCutcheon flick to flash a volley past Ferry.

O'Flynn missed out on a hat-trick when he failed to hit the target from a 76th minute penalty after Whyte fouled McKeever.

Crusaders made the most of their reprieve as Owens headed in the winner from a corner two minutes later.

The victory takes Stephen Baxter's side a point clear of Portadown, Ballymena Utd and Glenavon while Institute remain seventh.

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