Irish Premiership: Cliftonville 3-1 Crusaders

Cliftonville took a major step towards securing the Irish Premiership title by coming from a goal down to beat north Belfast rivals Crusaders at Solitude.

The Reds lead the Crues by 14 points at the top of the table and need just one point from their remaining five games.

They could clinch the championship when they play Linfield on 13 April.

Timmy Adamson put Crusaders ahead in the first half but second-half goals from Liam Boyce (2) and Barry Johnston sealed victory for Tommy Breslin's men.

The first chance of the game fell to Paul Heatley when his drilled shot brought a fine save from Conor Devlin and Matthew Snoddy went close from the rebound.

Soon after, a defensive mix-up allowed Adamson to slot home his 22nd goal of the season in the 14th minute.

A fine challenge by Paul Leeman on Stephen Garrett prevented a probable goal in an entertaining end-to-end first half.

Cliftonville levelled on the hour mark when Boyce floated a free-kick over the Crusaders wall and beyond goalkeeper Yohann Lacroix into the middle of the net.

The Reds edged ahead on 67 minutes when Josh Robinson failed to clear and the ball fell to Johnston, who knocked the ball past the keeper.

Eamonn Seydak fired over late in the game and then Boyce fired past Lacroix in added time to put his side within touching distance of the top prize in Irish League football.

"We're nearly there and I just want that one point to get us over the line," admitted Breslin after the match.

The sides will meet again in an Irish Cup semi-final at the Oval on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Johnston and fellow midfielder Ryan Catney signed new contracts with Cliftonville after Tuesday's victory.

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