Crusaders stay five clear in Irish Premiership as Glens fight back to beat Ports

Irish Premiership : Carrick Rangers 0-4 Crusaders

Crusaders maintained a five-point lead in the Irish Premiership after romping to a 4-0 away win over Carrick Rangers.

The game was effectively decided after only two minutes as Jordan Forsythe's goal after 30 seconds was followed by another Paul Heatley strike.

Heatley hit the third on 20 and after Carrick keeper James Taylor was sent off, Jordan Owens added the fourth.

Two Curtis Allen goals helped Glentoran fight back to beat Portadown 2-1 after Marcio Soares put the visitors ahead.

The victory secured Glentoran's top-six finish as they are nine points ahead of seventh-placed Dungannon Swifts with only two sets of fixtures remaining before the split.

The Oval game was delayed by around 10 minutes after a mix-up over colours saw Portadown having to organise an alternative set of jerseys.

Crusaders return to winning ways after two draws

Crusaders went into the Carrick contest with suggestions that they may be having a wobble after draws against Warrenpoint and Ballymena but they put this game to best with a dominant first-half performance.

Forsythe curled the Crues ahead after only 30 seconds with a delightful shot after Carrick failed to clear a free-kick and Heatley doubled the advantage just over a minute late as he cut inside to score after skipping down the left side.

After Adam Salley missed a chance to pull a goal back for Carrick, Heatley made it 3-0 on 20 minutes after being played in by a pass from the superb Billy Joe Burns.

Carrick suffered a further blow before the break as keeper Taylor was red carded after being adjudged to have barged over the impressive Diarmuid O'Carroll while picking up a long ball.

The incident led to a penalty being awarded but stand-in keeper Brian McCaul saved Burns' poorly-struck spot-kick.

As Crusaders took their foot off the pedal in the second period, Carrick's James Wright hit the crossbar with a free-kick but Owens completed the scoring on 81 as his shot was adjudged to have crossed the line after hitting the underside of the crossbar.

Allen double earns Glens win over struggling Ports

Irish Premiership: Curtis Allen double secures Glens win over Ports

Curtis Allen's two goals earned Glentoran victory over Portadown in a battle of two struggling teams.

Portadown went into the game after only one win in 11 Premiership contests while Glentoran had lost seven of their previous 10 games.

After the delayed started, Portadown quickly took the lead as Soares scored in the opening minute.

While Glentoran had plenty of first-half possession, Portadown continued to create the better chances with Sean Mackle firing into the side-netting before denied by a fine Elliot Morris save.

Allen levelled a minute before the break as he ran on to a ball over the top from Fra McCaffrey and the Glens took control of the contest in the second period.

Ports keeper David Miskelly kept his side on terms with fine saves to deny Allen, Jay Magee and McCaffrey but the visitors then suffered a blow when Mackle was sent off on 84 after picking up his second yellow card.

From the resultant free-kick, Allen's superb curling effort clinched the home win.

Danske Bank Irish Premiership
Ballymena Utd3-1Warrenpoint Town
Carrick Rangers0-4Crusaders
Coleraine0-1Dungannon Swifts
Glenavon1-0Ballinamallard Utd