LINFIELD 0 CRUSADERS 0
It was honours even at Windsor Park as Linfield fought out a scoreless draw with 10-man Crusaders.
A tense affair at Windsor Park failed to witness any goals but it was enough to see the Blues extend their lead at the top of the Danske Bank Premiership to four points.
Crusaders had midfielder Declan Caddell sent off in the 72nd minute for two bookable offences.
A dire first half was limited to a series of half-chances.
Colin Coates had a header cleared off the line by Jamie Mulgrew in the 19th minute while Andy Waterworth and Matt Tipton had efforts that failed to threaten Sean O’Neill’s goal.
In the 58th minute Tipton forced a superb finger tip save from O’Neill, the keeper tipping the Blues striker’s effort over the bar.
In the 66th minute Blues keeper Jonathan Tuffey was forced into a diving save from Paul Leeman’s long-range strike, while Paul Heatley fired another effort into the side netting seconds later.
Crusaders were down to 10 men in the 72nd minute when Caddell - who was booked 51st minute following a melee involving both sets of players - was shown a second yellow card for a foul on Jamie Mulgrew.
Leeman headed over Chris Morrow’s free-kick in the 78th minute, while Jordan Owens had a bullet header cleared off the line by Billy Joe Burns in the 83rd minute.
In the 88th minute Niall Quinn had a low drive saved by O’Neill.
LINFIELD: Tuffey, McVey (Glendinning 63), Gault, Waterworth, Lowry, BJ Burns, A. Burns (Carvill 81), Ward, Tipton (McAllister 81), Mulgrew, Quinn.
Subs not used: Knowles, McCaul.
CRUSADERS: O’Neill, Leeman, Magowan, Coates, McClean, Morrow, Robinson, Caddell, Heatley, Adamson (Snoddy 89), Owens.
Subs not used: King, E. McAllister, D. McAllister, McCutcheon.
Referee: Mark Courtney (Dungannon)