FIRST HALF GOALS SECURE WINNING START FOR THE CRUES
Crusaders Strikers got their Danske Bank Women's Premiership campaign off to a winning start with a 2-0 victory over Derry City at Seaview.
Northern Ireland centurion Julie Nelson and Danielle McDowell were both on target to secure a victory for the North Belfast side in Spike Hill's first league match at the helm.
Faith Johnston had two good openings early on for the Crues but the hosts did break the deadlock just after the half-hour mark when captain Nelson headed home Courtney Moore’s corner.
The lead was doubled three minutes before the break as McDowell found the net with a well-placed finish. Derry captain Shannon Dunne’s free-kick went inches wide just before half-time.
Hayley O'Donnell went close for the Crues just after the break while Derry's main threat came from set-pieces – two Caoimhe Walsh efforts going over the crossbar.
There was a late flurry of chances for both teams but Hill's side secured their two-goal victory.
Crusaders Strikers: Harvey-Clifford, Hamilton, Murphy, McDowell, Johnston, McCann, Ward, Moore, Nelson, Armour, O'Donnell subs Wright (not used), Mearns (replaced Murphy 83), Carson (not used), Chalmers (replaced Moore 66), Rea (replaced Johnston 75)
Derry City: Barr, J. Doherty, E. Doherty, McGonagle, Lapsley, Dunne, Cunningham, Cregan, G. McGuinness, McIntosh, Connolly subs McDaid (replaced Cregan 60), Coll (replaced E. Doherty 75), Callaghan (not used), Walsh (replaced Connolly 55), B. McGuinness (not used)