Billy Joe Burns turns away in delight after scoring (©INPHO/Stephen Hamilton)
Saturday, 10 February 2018
Crusaders stretched their lead at the top of the table to five points with this comprehensive defeat of Glentoran depsite falling behind to an early goal.
The Glens seized the advantage on five minutes when a Dylan Davidson cross fell for Curtis Allen who, in turn, laid it off to the left for Alex O'Hanlon to drill into the bottom right corner.
Crusaders fought hard to get back on level terms, striking the woodwork on no fewer than three occasions.
First, on 20 minutes, Darren Murray sent an overhead kick onto the underside of the bar from Jordan Owens' back post header.
A couple of minutes after that Owens then struck the bottom of an upright from a Burns right-sided cross while, on the half-hour mark, Burns himself hit the post with a curling effort before the ball fell loose for Owens to finally find the net.
Then, on 43 minutes, not long after Owens had a goal ruled out offside Burns made it 2-1 with a tap-in after Gavin Whyte had brought the ball forward from the halfway line before squaring it from the left.
Colin Coates added a third on 51 minutes when he rose highest to meet a Paul Heatley corner to the back post.
And, barely two minutes after that, Whyte knocked home Crusaders' fourth with a shot into the roof of net at the back post after latching onto an Owens header.
Both sides struck the woodwork once more as the game progressed. Murray turned a free-kick off the outside of the post on the hour before Allen directed a header from a Davidson corner onto the bar.
Glentoran did grab a late consolation, however, with a stoppage time Robbie McDaid lob over Brian Jensen.
Crusaders: Jensen, Burns, McChrystal, Coates, Lowry, Ward, Forsythe, Owens, Heatley, Whyte, Murray subs O'Neill (not used), Cushley (replaced Whyte 88), Caddell (replaced Murray 78), Snoddy (not used), Beverland (replaced McChrystal 46)
Glentoran: Morris, Kane, Birney, Addis, McMahon, Kelly, Allen, Davidson, Kerr, O'Hanlon, K. Nelson subs McGuigan (not used), Gordon (not used), Knowles (replaced McMahon 66), Redman (replaced K. Nelson 46), McDaid (replaced O'Hanlon 63)
Referee: Steven Gregg
|Billy Joe Burns||89||44|
|Robbie McDaid||63||90 +2|