Paul Heatley and Ben Kennedy fire Crusaders to victory
Second half goals from Paul Heatley and Ben Kennedy secured a 2-0 win for Crusaders at Carrick Rangers.
It was a third win in four games for the Crues since their enforced break last month due to Covid protocols.
Unsurprisingly it was the visitors, buoyed by their win over Linfield on Saturday, who started the brightest.
Johnny McMurray should have done better when he was played in on 11 minutes, but he dragged his effort wide.
Five minutes later Adam Lecky teed up Kennedy, but he shot straight at Aaron Hogg. Carrick responded on 19 minutes as a set piece was only cleared as far as Kurtis Forsythe, who fizzed a shot inches wide of the upright.
The hosts should have broken the deadlock just past the half hour as Jordan Gibson sent David Cushley free after Jarlath O’Rourke had lost possession. But the former Crusaders man scuffed his finish wide of the near post.
He did better minutes later with a trademark long-range effort which Jonny Tuffey did well to palm away.
And before the break Ben Tilney picked Cushley out in front of goal, but he scooped his effort over the bar.
There was a flurry of yellow cards dished out at the start of the second half with four Carrick players booked in the opening ten minutes after the restart.
The Crues also had an appeal for a penalty waved away after Heatley went down under a challenge from Jim Ervin. But the former Carrick man would have the last laugh moments later as he latched on to Lecky’s flick on to slot home.
The visitors wrapped things up with 15 minutes to go as Kennedy produced a great finish lobbing Hogg.
And it was almost 3-0 right at the end as Ross Clarke’s shot almost caught out Hogg.