Crusaders 2 W’point T 0
Paul Heatley’s glorious second half double helped keep Crusaders on Premiership title track at Seaview.
The 23 year old took his goal tally for the season to five against a determined Warrenpoint Town, who had to play the last 19 minutes with 10 men after having midfielder Stephen Moan dismissed.
Crusaders are now 14 games unbeaten in all competitions.
It was visitors who almost sneaked into the lead on four minutes when defender Darren King looped in a speculative 30 yard drive that forced Sean O’Neill to tip over the top.
Chances were few and far between in a lifeless opening 45 minutes, although Crusaders should have broken the deadlock on 25 minutes when Eamon McAllister’s cross from the right was met by little Gary McCutcheon, whose header was pushed away by Point shot stopper Johnny Parr.
Crusaders roared from the traps after the half-time cuppa, with McCutcheon volleying inches past following a neat flick on by Heatley.
But battling Town hit back with Stephen Hughes firing in an 20 yard free kick that O’Neill managed to claw out of the bottom corner.
The usually lethal Jordan Owens then missed a sitter on 53 minutes, heading Chris Morrow’s pin-point cross wide of a gaping goal.
Lanky midfielder Josh Robinson was next to try his luck only to see his dipping 30-yard drive flash over the crossbar.
Heatley broke the deadlock on 65 mintues with that wonderful strike.
He latched on to Morrow’s wonderful pass, outpaced his marker before hammering an unstoppable shot past Parr.
Warrenpoint were then reduced to 10 men when Moat was shown a straight red card following a horrible tackle on Heatley.
Heatley struck again on 81 minutes, poking the ball under Parr following a delicious pass from substitute David McMaster.
Substitute Matthew Snoddy then shot against the post in the last minute after Parr produced a sensational save from Owens’ header.
Crusaders: O’Neill, Leeman, Magowan, Coates, E McAllister (McMaster 68), Morrow, Robinson, McCutcheon (Snoddy 76), McClean, Owens, Heatley (D McAllister 84).
Subs: King, Cleary.
Warrenpoint Town: Parr, King, Cowan, D Hughes (Grant 45), S Hughes, McCabe, Smith (Parr 75), Bagnall, M Hughes, Moan, Boyle.
Subs:McGuigan, Havern, McMullan.
Referee: T Marshall (Irvinestown).