CRUES GO TOP AFTER ACTION PACKED OVAL ENCOUNTER
Glentoran and Crusaders battled to an equal share of the goals - and cards - in an action packed Tuesday night encounter at the BetMcLean Oval.
The Crues moved in front with just over a quarter-of-an-hour on the clock when Daniel Lamour ghosted in at the near post to glance home a Ben Kennedy inswinging corner.
However the lead lasted just five minutes after Jay Donnelly levelled for the Glens with a powerful header in off the underside of the bar after Bobby Burns had sent over a cross from the right.
Both sides could have held the lead at the break with Kennedy fizzing an effort just wide of the target while, at the other end, Shay McCartan came close with a curling free-kick narrowly wide of the post.
Further chances were traded early in the second half. Luke McCullough saw an effort tipped over by Jonny Tuffey, with Kennedy later spotting McCarey off his line only for the Glentoran keeper to ultimately easily gather his long range attempt.
Glentoran eventually edged their noses in front, however, midway through the second half after sending Tuffey the wrong way from the spot after Jordan Forsythe had been penalised for a high foot.
And the Glens came close to extending their advantage not long after that only for Tuffey to do well to tip a Daire O'Connor snap shot over the top.
But there was a twist only a few moments later when the home side were reduced to ten men with around 20 minutes remaining after Burns was shown a second yellow card for time wasting.
Then, with only a couple of minutes remaining, the Crues made their numerical advantage count after Jordan Owens scrambled the ball home from close range when Ross Clarke's initial effort had been cleared off the line by Patrick McClean.
There was still time for more drama after Forsythe became the second person to be dismissed following a challenge on Fuad Sule - and the Glens almost snatched victory not long after that only for Tuffey to do well to push a reaction effort from Josh Kelly around an upright!
Glentoran: McCarey, McCullough, Wilson, Burns, McCartan, Donnelly, O'Connor, Singleton, Sule, McClean, Uzokwe subs Palmer, Kelly, Webber, Boyd, Russell, Walsh, McGinn
Crusaders: Tuffey, Burns, Weir, Lowry, Kennedy, Lecky, Forsythe, O'Rourke, Larmour, Heatley, McKeown subs Kerr, Teelan, Owens, Winchester, Smith, Clarke, Anderson