Glentoran suffered another disappointing defeat at Seaview in the Danske Bank Premiership, going down to a goal from Jordan Owens.
As in last Friday night's game at Larne, the goal came from a corner however on this occasion the Glens were unable to find a way back into the match.
Manager, Mick McDermott made three changes to the team which lined up at Inver Park. Conor McMenamin came in for his first start of his second spell at the Oval, whilst Joe Crowe and Ruaidhri Donnelly replaced Hrvoje Plum and Gael Bigirimana.
On a horrendous night it was the home side who started brighter and with 6 minutes gone a Paul Heatley shot was deflected wide for a corner. The ball was swung into the area and Jordan Owens got the better of Luke McCullough to head home.
Conor McMenamin found Ruaidhri Donnelly on the right corner of the 18-yard box on 11 minutes. Donnelly went for goal but his curling shot was just over the bar. 18 minutes in and skipper Marcus Kane conceded a free kick around 30 yards from goal. Ben Kennedy struck it well but the ball whistled just wide of the post. A minute later and the Crues had another chance; this time Jordan Forsythe firing his shot straight at Dayle Coleing.
From that point until the interval the Glens improved greatly, dominating possession and moving the ball well around on the difficult surface. On 31 minutes Rhys Marshall fed Robbie McDaid about 20 yards from goal. The Glentoran striker struck the ball goalwards but it was blocked by the home defence before being cleared. McMenamin then fired wide before a great run by Caolan Marron set up a great opportunity for Ruaidhri Donnelly but he shot went wide.
Halftime: Crusaders 1-0 Glentoran
It was more of the same after the break with Glentoran dominant in possession but without really troubling Jonathan Tuffey in the Crusaders goal. 10 minutes into the second half the Glens were awarded a free kick which Conor McMenamin swung into the box only to see it headed behind for a corner. A second corner quickly followed but again Tuffey wasn't tested. Just after the hour mark Hrvoje Plum replaced Joe Crowe who had been yellow carded minutes earlier.
With 20 minutes rmaining Hrvoje Plum tried a shot from distance but it flew wide of the target. The Croatian midfielder had another chance, this time with a 25 yard free-kick on 79 minutes. His powerful strike was on target but straight at the Crues keeper who saved well. The Glens kept pressing looking for, what would have been, a deserved equaliser. On 83 minutes another corner was poorly cleared by the home side and a handball on the edge of the area presented another chance from a set piece. Plum again stepped up but this effort was inches wide of the post. There was one final chance in the 90th minute when a ball forward was flicked on by sunstitute, Cameron Stewart. Robbie McDaid raced onto it but his shot from a tight angle flew right across goal and beyone the far post.
Full-time: Crusaders 1-0 Glentoran
Photographs by PACEMAKER
Glentoran: Coleing, Marron, Kane (c), McCullough, McClean, Gallagher, Marshall (O'Connor 80), Crowe (Plum 61), R. Donnelly (Stewart 78), McDaid & McMenamin