Glentoran suffered their second heavy defeat of the season at the Bet McLean Oval to Crusaders in today's Danske Bank Premiership tie. Going into the game, the Glens were still regarded as an outside bet for the Danske Bank Premiership but those ambitions disappeared during a 90 minutes were the team were outfought and outplayed with visitors Crusaders scoring four times without replay - each goal the result of abject defending.
The opening goal came on 8 minutes. A corner on the right from Ross Clarke was initially cleared but Heatley picked it up some 30 yards from goal before playing the ball back to Clarke. Clarke was in acres of space and had all the time in the world to pick out the unmarked Declan Caddell and his glancing header found the far corner of the net.
Midway through the half another Clarke corner on the right brought another goal. Chris Hegarty got the flick on and the unmarked Philip Lowry had the simplest of tasks to poke the ball home from close range. Glentoran struggled to create anything meaningful in the first half and apart from a long range effort from Dillon Powers, Jonathan Tuffey had little to do.
Halftime: Glentoran 0-2 Crusaders
Ross Clarke picked up a yellow card for a really poor tackle on Marcus Kane. Strangely Kane, having received lengthy treatment was made to leave the field by referee Andrews! Andrews then waved away Glentoran's penalty appeals when Shay McCartan appeared to be felled in the area on 52 minutes. Crusaders nettet a third goal on 58 minutes. Caolan Marron opted to pass the ball back to keeper Aaron McCarey instead of clearing downfield. McCarey missed the ball and it ran behind for a corner. Clarke swung the ball into the area and Daniel Larmour headed it goalwards. It should have been a straightforward save for McCarey or clearance for Kane but both opted to leave it for the other and it ended up in the back of the net.
Substitute Michael O'Connor got his head on a cross from Conor McMenamin on 61 minutes, forcing Tuffey into his first real save of the game. 6 minutes later the Crusaders keeper was called into action again, this time turning the ball behind from one of his own defenders who had sliced Michael O'Connor's cross towards goal. With 5 minutes remaining Crusaders added a 4th. Caolan Marron's poor clearance on halfway went high into the air. Marron seemed to have rescued the situation when McMurray failed to control the ball but he then lost out in a challenge with Ross Clarke. Clarke drove forward before finding Heatley in the area and he comfortable beat McCarey.
Photographs by PACEMAKER
Glentoran: McCarey, Marshall, Kane (c), Marron, McClean, Plum (Burns 65), Powers (R. Donnelly 78), Murray (O'Connor 46), McCartan (Jenkins 78), J. Donnelly & McMenamin