CRUSADERS thumped Cliftonville into only their second defeat of the season.
Traffic snarl ups on the Shore Road were the least of Red fans’ worries as they travelled across the peaceline to the fortress Seaview ground in the north Belfast derby.
On the pitch, it was all one-way traffic for Stephen Baxter’s Hatchet Men who hammered out of sorts Cliftonville 3-1.
A consolation goal from hot shot striker Liam Boyce came too late to spark a Reds rival, pushing them into second place in the table behind League new boys Ballinamallard.
Cliftonville dropped down to second in the Premiership table after Crusaders deservedly won the north Belfast derby.
Striker Timmy Adamson hooked in the opener for his sixth goal of the season after meeting a Paul Heatley corner in the 18th minute.
Jordan Owens touched in from the impressive Heatley’s left-wing delivery to make it 2-0 after 44 minutes.
Gary McCutcheon stroked the ball home from close range on 55 and Liam Boyce volleyed in a late consolation on 85.
The result sees Crusaders maintain their unbeaten home league record and move up a place to fourth spot in the Premiership.
Midfielder Declan Caddell squandered a good opportunity early on when he headed wide with the goal gaping.
At the other end, Boyce missed the target with a shot, and then Heatley’s glancing header was well saved by Conor Devlin.
Adamson broke the deadlock but the Reds fought back and home goalkeeper Sean O’Neill was forced to make good stops to deny a Joe Gormley shot and Boyce’s left-foot curling effort.
Owens added the crucial second goal before half-time and the visitors’ defensive frailties were exposed once again when Adamson headed the ball across goal and McCutcheon tapped in from a few yards out.
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