Belfast Telegraph

Watch: Crusaders' Paul Heatley is scoring so many screamers, he can't remember them

By Gareth Hanna

Paul Heatley is so used to firing in absolute screamers that he has already forgotten one of his recent corkers.

The Crusaders star bagged another one to add to his extensive collection at Seaview on Tuesday evening, blasting a fine finish past Roy Caroll from outside the box for what proved to be the winner in the 2-1 victory over Linfield.

It was his seventh goal in six Danske Bank Premiership games this season and the second that was out of the true top drawer. The first came on the opening night of the season as he looped another half-volley from the edge of the box past a despairing goalkeeper, on this occasion Ballymena United's Ross Glendinning.

So which goal was better? Well Heatley can't comment.

"I don't even remember the Showgrounds one," he laughed. "I'm not overly fussed how it goes in as long as it finds the net and helps the team win the game.

"You just make sure you get a good connection and as long as you feel that, you've got a good chance of it going in. To be fair, quite often it does in our team. It's good to see it hitting the back of the net and taking Roy's record away from him a little bit."

That record was Linfield goalkeeper's unbeaten clean sheet. He had survived 475 Premiership minutes without conceding until Heatley set up Jordan Forsythe and then fired in his own spectacular effort.

If the winger was being modest about the whole thing, Crues midfielder Declan Caddell wasn't prepared to let him.

"He's a magician," said Caddell. "As I say year after year, he's the best player in this league. Training with him twice a week, you can see the quality he has. People will look at that (goal), but he scores goals like that in training all the time so it's nothing new to us. We're delighted to have him."

Heatley, however, was more concerned with transferring praise to opposite winger Forsythe.

"I've certainly seen Jordan Forsythe do what he did tonight on the training ground. It was lovely to see him put in such a good performance on that left side," said Heatley, who was relieved to finally get the better of Linfield, having suffered four defeats at the Blues' hands last season.

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Magic man: Paul Heatley fires home a wonder strike in Crusaders’ victory at Seaview

"It's a special, special win for us. It's been too long since we got the three points against Linfield. They've been very organised over the last couple of years against us so it was really important to put things right and get the win.

"I don't think it was them, I think it was ourselves. We've always said the only team that beats us is ourselves. It was important that we went out and showed individually and collectively what we're capable of and in the first half we played the best football we've played in a long time."

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