Belfast Telegraph

Baxter hails his players as Crues hit the front

 

By Graham Luney

Crusaders manager Stephen Baxter saluted his Danske Bank Premiership table toppers for rising to the big occasion over the demanding festive period.

The Crues leapfrogged Coleraine to take a one-point lead after sinking Ballinamallard United 3-0 at Ferney Park yesterday.

The wet weather wiped out the Bannsiders' home clash with Linfield and Dungannon Swifts' trip to Carrick Rangers but Crusaders, through second-half strikes from Jordan Forsythe and Billy Joe Burns, along with an own goal from Matthew Kelly, made it a magnificent seven league wins on the spin.

"It was important we were patient and didn't push it because we could have made mistakes but, by and large, we coped with the conditions pretty well," said Baxter.

"I knew the Christmas programme of four games in 11 days would be a tough ask but the players have stood up to the test well to bag maximum points."

Goalscorer Forsythe says the players won't get ahead of themselves, adding: "It's always hard here. We're top of the league now but we will not get carried away as it means nothing at this stage."

The Mallards have brought in Stephen O'Flynn and Michael Kerr on loan deals from the Crues while Glenavon have signed Stephen Murray from Warrenpoint Town.

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