Irish Premiership: Crusaders 4-2 Glentoran

Crusaders 4-2 Glentoran

Premiership leaders Crusaders moved eight points clear at the top of the table after coming from two goals down to beat 10-man Glentoran at Seaview.

Two goals from Curtis Allen, the second a stunning lob, put the visitors in control but Jordan Forsythe and Matthew Snoddy scored to bring the Crues level.

A superb 25-yard Billy Joe Burns effort on 61 made it 3-2, then Ciaran Caldwell was sent-off for a second yellow card.

Jordan Owens made the win safe with a glancing header in the 74th minute.

Both sides began the game looking to secure their first victory in three league outings, while the Glens were aiming to bring to an end an unenviable record of eight Premiership visits to Seaview without a win.

Allen brace puts Glens two up

Owens had a shot blocked on the line in the early stages, before Allen followed up to ram the ball home from close range in the seventh minute after Sean O'Neill had spilled a Barry Holland effort.

Home skipper Colin Coates had a header ruled out for offside, while at the other end, Danny McKee, back from a loan spell with Ards, fired over the bar.

Allen shrugged off defender Davy Magowan and executed a composed left-foot finish over O'Neill for his 14th of the season to put the Glens two ahead after 33 minutes.

However, Forsythe's low shot through the defensive wall and past Aaron Hogg on 41 proved the launching pad for the comeback.

Snoddy drove the ball home two minutes before the interval and then Burns fired into the top corner to edge Stephen Baxter's side in front.

Caldwell received a second yellow in the 73rd for kicking the ball towards Forsythe while he was on the ground and a minute later Owens's 16th of the season from a Michael Carvill delivery made it 4-2.

What they said

Crusaders manager Stephen Baxter: "There was no panic in the camp when we went two goals down and we took the game to them for the 10 minutes before half-time.

"After that we were superb, our second half performance was excellent to watch. We put the Glens under a lot of pressure and could have scored more. It was a fighting display.

Glentoran manager Alan Kernaghan: "I was frustrated that we couldn't continue the performance we put in for the first 40 minutes. We saw the best and worst of ourselves today.

"We showed that we can outplay the best teams for spells and compete very well, but we can't put that together for 90 minutes."

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