It was a disappointing afternoon for the Glens at Seaview in the Danske Bank Premiership. Despite twice coming from behind, Glentoran were unable to take anything from the game.
As in the previous meeting between the two side, Crusaders struck early. James Singleton lost possession to Ross Clarke midway inside the Crusaders half. Clarke's long ball might have been intercepted by Luke McCullough but the ball found its way through to Heatly and his cross was headed in at the back post by Adam Lecky - who looked like he may have been in an offside position.
The home side's lead lasted barely a minute. Luke McCullough won the ball from Adam Lecky and found Bobby Burns in the middle of the field. He clipped the ball over the defence for Danny Purkis to run on to and the Glentoran forward calmly slotted it past Jonny Tuffey.
On 15 minutes we witnessed a very late tackle by Heatly on Aidan Wilson; the Crusaders wide man with a dangerous lunge which caught the Glentoran defender on the ankle and left him needing significant treatment. Heatly escaped with just a yellow card! On 24 minutes the home side regained the lead following a corner from the right. Chris Hegarty rose above Paddy McClean to meet the ball in from Ross Clarke and his header went in off the post.
10 minutes from the interval a long throw in from Paddy McClean was only partially cleared but Terry Devlin could only direct his header straight at the Crusaders keeper. Down the other end we went and Aaron McCarey was hit from a late and unnecessary challenge from Adam Lecky. The Crues striker went unpunished but seconds later Gary Thompson was to receive a yellow card for a poor tackle on James Singleton. Sean Murry then stung the hands of Tuffey with a long range effort before in first half stoppage time Aaron McCarey's unforced error presented the home side with another corner. Once again Hegarty got on the end of it but McCarey redeemed himself with a fine save.
Halftime: Crusaders 2-1 Glentoran
The home side might have increased their advantage two minutes after the break when Clarke found Lecky in the box but his shot was straight at Aaron McCarey. On 50 minutes an attempted cross from Danny Purkis took a deflection and almost caught out the home keeper; Tuffey forced to tip the ball over the bar. From the corner, Aidan Wilson saw his goal bound header blocked but the ball broke for James Singleton to drive it goalwards from around 12 yards. Jay Donnelly managed to get a touch on it though and that was enough to see the ball past the keeper and into the Crusaders net.
Crusaders almost went in front again on 57 minutes when Philip Lowry got on the end of a flick by Lecky but McCarey made a fine stop. A minute later though they did net their third. Another free kick conceded in the left back area - Adam Lecky's header came off the bar before Danny Purkis headed it away. Jordan Forsythe was able to hook the ball back into the danger area where Lecky had time to take a touch before delivering an overhead kick across goal. Chris Heagarty, unmarked in the middle, had the simple task of heading it past McCarey.
On 63 minutes Heatly once again went through the back of Aidan Wilson. Again the Glentoran number 5 required treatment but he was then forced to leave the field as Heatly received no punishment from the referee! Substitute, Ally Roy then saw his effort blocked but the ball broke to Marcus Kane on the edge of the area. Unfortunately the Glentoran skipper couldn't keep his shot down. Roy then put in a superb cross from the left which Jay Donnelly just failed to get a touch on. Ally Roy then drilled a great crossfield ball towards Aaron Wightman. Jarlath O'Rourke clearly intercepted it with his arm raised above his head. Somehow all the officials missed it!
Photographs by PACEMAKER
Glentoran: McCarey, Wilson, McCullough (Kane 67), McClean (c), Devlin, Burns, Singleton (Wightman 79), Murray (Roy 67), J. Donnelly & Purkis