Crusaders stay top of the Danske Bank Premiership tonight after a super 3-2 win over Coleraine at Seaview. It was a cracking end to end game that produced goals and thrills for ninety minutes.
Crusaders started strongly and indeed could have opened the scoring on a few ocasions but Paul Heatley shot wide and Chris Johns made a great save to deny Jordan Forsythe. Coleraine though took the lead on the half hour mark when James McLaughlin scored a 30 yard strike that gave Sean O'Neill no chance such was the quality of the strike. Five minutes later it was all square when a wonderful ball across goal by Paul Heatley was finished off by Jordan Owens at the back post to send the home fans wild. Jordan Owens nearly got a second a minute later bit the ball was hacked away as it went goalwards but the home support didn't have to wait long for Crusaders second. Paul Heatley followed up his first shot that Chris Johns saved well with a second effort that flew into the net on 40 minutes and Crusaders where ahead 2-1 come half time.
The second half was as good as the first and both teams went for it. Both sides defended well and it was Coleraines Mullan then Kane who made well timed tackles to deny Crusaders scoring again although Johns also made a good save as well. The 68th minute saw Crusaders go further ahead when Paul Heatley got his second of the night and again it was spectacular. The ball fell to him on the edge of the box and with little back lift he rifled the ball around his marker and the keeper into the net to make it 3-1. Coleraine hit back a minute later when McGonigle pulled a goal back with a long range effort to make it 3-2 and it was head to head again. Both sides made it entertaining and Crusaders where close to extending their lead on several occasions again but Johns was on hand to save. Coleraine had two good chances also but the ball fell to safety before the referee blew his whistle and they had won 3-2.
So three points and still Crusaders are top by a point with only two games to play. Next up is a trip to Ballymena United on Saturday and another big game to play.