Jordan Owens nets equaliser to keep Crusaders title hopes alive

Glenavon's Eoin Bradley celebrates after putting Glenavon 1-0 up.
Glenavon's Eoin Bradley celebrates after putting Glenavon 1-0 up.

Jordan Owens bagged a crucial equaliser to keep Crusaders on title track.

The big striker hit his 15th goal of the season to help the Danske Premiership title holders pinch a crucial point against a battling Glenavon side.

Eoin Bradley shot the Lurgan Blues into a first half lead, but the striker was dismissed with eight minutes remaining.

Even though it was points dropped, the Crues still extended their lead at the top of the table to seven points.

Crusaders really should have been out of sight having bolted from the blocks and spurning a number of great chances.

Owens must still be wondering how he missed an open goal after only four minutes. Billy Joe Burns’ cross picked out the big striker at the back post, but he completely mis-kicked with only Johnny Tuffey to beat.

The home fans were stunned into silence on 28 minutes when Glenavon sneaked ahead. Braniff held the ball up brilliantly on the edge of the box before slipping in Bradley and his finish was clinical.

But the Crues were back on terms on 68 minutes. Carvill’s cross to the back post was met by the towering Owens and his header flashed into the net, off the underside of the crossbar.

Glenavon’s chances of pinching all three points received a blow eight minutes from time when Eoin Bradley was dismissed following a collision with Coates.

Crusaders: O’Neill, Burns, Robinson, Coates, McClean, Snoddy (Clarke 63), Caddell, Whyte (Forsythe 63), Carvill, Owens, Heatley. Subs not used: Mitchell, Magowan, O’Carroll.

Glenavon: Tuffey, Dillon, Kilmartin, Cooper, Bradley, Hall, Sykes, McGrory, Braniff, Kearns, Elbert. Subs not used: Lindsay, Patton, O’Brien, Burns, Marron.

Referee: R Hetherington (Dungannon).