David Cushley celebrates his late match winning penalty (©INPHO/Stephen Hamilton)
Saturday, 29 December 2018
A David Cushley penalty right at the end proved enough to hand Crusaders the win over Glentoran at The Oval.
The Crues almost moved in front during the opening seconds of the game when Declan Caddell burst into the box only to see his low shot saved by Elliott Morris.
Stephen Baxter's continued to force the pace with Cushley testing Morris from distance before going inches wide with a curling effort not long after that, all inside the opening quarter-of-an-hour.
Glentoran had their chances, too, with Crues keeper Sean O'Neill producing a point blank save to deny Curtis Allen while Stevie Gordon was thwarted by an upright.
Then, early in the second half, Glens skipper Marcus Kane crossed from left for John Herron but he failed to keep his header on target while, at the other end, Cushley had an effort kept out by Morris' legs.
As the game wore to a close Allen looked on as a curling shot drifted just wide before Crues substitute Jordan Owens was brought down by Ross Redman as he went for a high ball played into the area by Jordan Forsythe, and from the subsequent spot-kick Cushley stepped up to convert.
It then got worse for Glentoran in stoppage time when Kane was shown a straight red card for a foul on Sean Ward.
Glentoran: Morris, Garrett, Kane, Birney, Herron, Allen, Davidson, Kerr, Pepper, Gordon, Redman subs Nelson (not used), Gallagher (not used), McMahon (not used), Henderson (not used), McCarthy (replaced Davidson 90+1), O'Neill (not used), Smith (not used)
Crusaders: O'Neill, Burns, Beverland, Lowry, Cushley, Caddell, Forsythe, Ruddy, Brown, Heatley, Clarke subs Doherty (not used), Ward (replaced Beverland 45+3), Carvill (not used), J. Owens (replaced Clarke 67), Snoddy (not used), Thompson (not used), Patterson (replaced Lowry 83)
Referee: Tim Marshall
|Marcus Kane||90 +3|
|Dylan Davidson||90 +1|
|Billy Joe Burns||43|
|Howard Beverland||45 +3|
|David Cushley||90 +1p|
|James McCarthy||90 +1|
|Sean Ward||45 +3|