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Gareth Fullerton

Stephen Baxter outlines tactics behind "pulsating" Crusaders display

Crusaders boss Stephen Baxter says his side put in a "pulsating performance" to beat Linfield on Tuesday night.

The Crues bolstered their own title credentials with an impressive 2-0 win over the champions at Seaview.

Goals from Jordan Forsythe and Philip Lowry settled this Belfast showdown on the Shore Road, a result that sees Baxter's men draw level on points with the Blues.

Read more: Pat Fenlon says goodbye to Linfield but leaves the club in a strong position

"It was a pulsating performance from us tonight. We were right after it," Baxter said.


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"The tactics we set out were to get after Linfield and get an early goal. We got that and nearly scored again with Adam Lecky's wonder strike, turning at a tight angle and forcing a wonder save from Chris Johns.

"That was part of the game plan, to push them hard and don't give them time to settle on the ball and get into their passing game.

"We restricted them to very little in the first half, and we wanted more of the same in the second half. We wanted a second goal."

Baxter added: "Adam Lecky played a massive role for us tonight, and he fed Philip Lowry and my word, what a strike. That's as good a strike as I have seen for a long time.

"You take that 2-0 lead and you want to see it out. We made a couple of tweaks because Linfield threw the kitchen sink at us as you would expect.

"We had to see the game out and we did that exceptionally well also. I think we were worthy winners, and when David (Healy) comes over at the end and says you were full value for it tonight, that is a good compliment coming from an exceptional manager and an exceptional team."

Lowry's goal was the standout moment in the game, the midfielder sending a rocket past Chris Johns from 25 yards out to make it 2-0.

It is the midfielder's 14th Premiership goal in what is fast becoming a stellar season for the former Linfield and Derry City player.

"Philip has been in incredible scoring form this season. It is quite special and I thought he was magnificent tonight. Him and Jude (Winchester) go through some amount of work," Baxter said.

"Every part of what the players did tonight was well-oiled, and follows on from Saturday's performance (against Larne).

"These are big games of football, and we have a monumental task on Monday night away to the Glens. They have changed manager and got two results on the bounce.

"That will be a big challenge going there, but that's why you're in football. For these big games."


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