Irish Premiership: Crusaders edge out Cliftonville at Seaview

Crusaders' Jordan Forsythe and Cliftonville’s Chris Curran during todays game at Seaview in Belfast. 

CRUSADERS held onto their seven point lead at the top of the table thanks to a 1-0  defeat of Cliftonville at Seaview.

The Crues had an early chance when, on seven minutes, Alan Keane volleyed the ball across the face of goal but the onrushing Michael Carvill just failed to make a connection.

The visitors were reduced to 10 men after half-an-hour when Ryan Catney was dismissed following a challenge on Howard Beverland, a tackle which caused the Cliftonville man to be stretchered off with a broken leg.

Crusaders tried to make the most of their numerical advantage but the best they could conjure up was a Jordan Forsythe effort wide of the target.

They did find a way through before the hour mark, however, when Carvill tucked the ball past Peter Burke after getting on the end of a perfectly timed Forsythe pass.

"It was a game of few chances, a feisty sort of affair. All that mattered was the three points and we were keen to get them," said Crues boss Stephen Baxter

"We could not see Ryan Catney's challenge very well, but whatever way he caught Howard Beverland, he seems to have come off badly and we hope he is ok."

A goal in each half helped Linfield to a 2-0 home victory over Ballymena United, their third league defeat of the Sky Blues this season.

The Blues moved in front through Mark Stafford after the ball had bounced around the area from a Ross Gaynor free-kick.

Andy Waterworth wrapped up the points with 12 minutes remaining, slotting the ball into the bottom right corner.

Glenavon's James Singleton is sent off during today's game at Shamrock Park, Portadown. Pic by David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press 

Two first half goals helped Glenavon to a 2-1 victory in the Mid-Ulster derby at Shamrock Park.

James Gray opened the scoring after nine minutes with a simple tap-in.

Moorhouse doubled Glenavon's lead on 22 minutes, forcing the ball into the bottom corner after connecting with a Joel Cooper cross.

Portadown pulled one back on 52 minutes from the spot. James Singleton conceded the penalty - and picked up a straight red card - following a challenge on Adam Foley with Niall Henderson stepping up to convert into the bottom corner.

Coleraine moved into fourth spot following this 2-1 defeat of Ballinamallard United at Ferney Park.

Dungannon Swifts kept very much in contention for a top six place with a 1-0 defeat of Carrick Rangers at the Belfast Loughshore Hotel Arena.

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