CRUSADERS 4 ARDS 1
Crusaders continued their fight for third spot, with a comprehensive 4-1 victory over Ards at Seaview.
Gary McCutcheon scored twice for the Crues as they steamrollered an out of sorts Ards defence.
The three-goal defeat means Ards are now eight points adrift at the bottom, with only 15 points left to play for.
Ards opened the scoring a mere 57 seconds into the game when Willie Faulkner split the Crues defence open with a smart ball. Ross Arthurs took his time in the penalty area before slotting the ball past Sean O’Neill to score against his old club.
Crusaders equalised 11 minutes later when Gary McCutcheon took advantage of some slack marking to force Alan Blayney into a save. The ball looped back into the middle of the penalty area, which allowed Eamon McAllister to volley home from 10 yards.
It was no surprise when the Crues took the lead in 24th minute. Gary McCutcheon played the ball in from the left, which allowed Jordan Owens to half-volley the ball into the net from the edge of the six yard box.
Crusaders wrapped up the points in the 58th minute when a Declan Caddell long ball was cushioned into Gary McCutcheon path by Paul Heatley.
McCutcheon, who had evaded Armstrong, fired the ball high into Blayney’s net.
The fourth goal arrived in the 76th minute as Eamon McAllister cut Ards open down the left before pulling the ball back across the front of goal.
Josh Robinson was lurking at the back post, but it was Ards defender Mark Burns who turned it into his own net.
Crusaders: O’Neill; Robinson, Leeman, Coates, Hanley; McAllister (77 McMaster), Clarke, Morrow (46 Caddell), Heatley; McCutcheon, Owens (80 Dempster)
Subs Not Used : King, Smith
Ards: Blayney; Hall, Armstrong, Cully (45 Hunter), Rodgers; Dougan (55 Davidson), Burns, Faulkner, Knowles, McMillen (46 Mitchell); Arthurs
Subs Not Used : Gibson, Dougherty