Crusaders power into second place with convincing Dungannon victory

Jordan Owens scored twice for Crusaders
Jordan Owens scored twice for Crusaders

Crusaders moved into second spot in the Danske Bank Premiership with a convincing 5-1 victory over Dungannon Swifts on Monday night.

Goals from Jordan Owens (2), Paul Heatley, Gary McCutcheon and an Adam McMinn own goal saw the Crues record their first win since December 7.

Stephen Baxter’s side closed the gap on leaders Linfield to six points - with both sides due to meet at Windsor Park next Tuesday.

A bright start by the Crues was rewarded with a goal in the ninth minute.

It came after McCutcheon’s shot was deflected behind by McMinn.

From Chris Morrow’s corner Owens was left unmarked inside the box to head home with aplomb.

The home side’s pressure continued and they were rewarded with a second goal in the 31st minute.

Eamon McAllister played in Heatley who raced clear before coolly slotting his shot past the stranded Buchanan.

The third goal arrived in the 53rd minute, with Owens tapping home fro close range after Craig McClean’s cross rebounded off the post and then Swifts keeper Buchanan.

Dungannon substitute Jamie Tomelty offered the visitors a lifeline in the 68th minute, the winger cutting in from the right before firing a left-foot shot that deflected off Paul Leeman and into the net.

It was 4-1 in the 75th minute after some lapse defending from McMinn, whose awful back pass allowed McCutcheon a free run on goal before rounding Buchanan and tapping home.

McMinn’s night got worse six minutes later, with the defender inadvertently heading Morrow’s free-kick into his own net.

CRUSADERS: O’Neill, Leeman, Magowan (King78), E. McAllister (Smith 69), Morrow, Robinson, Caddell, McCutcheon, McClean, Owens, Heatley (D. McAllister 84).

Subs not used: Hanley, Watson.

DUNGANNON: Buchanan, Brennan, Grieve, McCaffrey, McMinn, Topley, Harpur, Hazley (Costello 82), Glackin (Lavery 57), Fitzpatrick (Tomelty 57), Hutchinson.

Subs not used: Lowe, McCullough.

Referee: Iain McNabb (Newtownabbey)