Crusaders hold on to top spot amid Premiership action

Crusaders celebrate their win to stay top of the table. Credit: Pacemaker
  • Crusaders 3 - 2 Coleraine

Crusaders remain one point clear at the top of the Irish Premiership after securing a 3-2 win over Coleraine at Seaview on Tuesday night.

For the second game in a row, Stephen Baxter's side had to dig deep as they came from behind to clinch a vital three points and remain on course to retain their title.

Paul Heatley was the hero on the night, scoring two goals and setting up the other in what proved to be a real test of character for the home side.

On 30 minutes, the home fans were stunned when James McLaughlin gave the Bannsiders the lead with a majestic strike - a long ball out from the keeper fell to the big striker and his sublime half volley sailed over the keeper from distance to make it 1-0.

Coleraine’s James McLaughlin celebrates their 1-0 lead Credit: Pacemaker

However, the Crues hit back quickly with Heatley on the break delivering a great ball across the area and Jordan Owens had a simple tap-in for 1-1 on 34 minutes.

Heatley fired his side ahead on 39 minutes - his first effort was saved by Chris Johns, but he was free to snap up the loose ball to see the Crues into the break in the lead.

With 20 minutes to go, it seemed all over as Heatley grabbed his second of the night.

But, within two minutes, Jamie McGonigle ensured a nervous finish when he pegged a goal back.

In the end, Baxter's men held on for what could be a massive win as the season reaches an exciting climax.