Colin Coates proved the match-winner as Crusaders beat Glentoran despite squandering several other good chances.
Paul Heatley and Gavin Whyte were denied by Aaron Hogg in the first half, while Jordan Owens also went close.
Coates curled his free-kick from just outside the area round Glentoran's four-man wall and into the net on 34.
Heatley, Coates and Owens failed to give the Crues some breathing space after the interval while Sean O'Neill saved David Howland's well-struck shot.
The hosts began in enterprising fashion and Heatley's left-foot drive was well saved by Hogg, who blocked with his feet.
O'Neill saved well from Allen's snapshot, then Hogg distinguished himself again by stopping Whyte's right-foot shot.
After the Crues took a deserved lead, Hogg foiled Heatley once more as he closed in on goal and Coates had a header blocked on the line by the goalkeeper.
Jay Magee fired a right-foot shot wide of the post while, at the other end, Owens failed to find the target.
David Magowan almost turned the ball into his own net and Allen had a chance to level but O'Neill was quick off his line to clear and deny the former Linfield forward.