Crusaders seal Europa place

Glenavon's Mark Patton in action with Crusaders David McMaster
Glenavon's Mark Patton in action with Crusaders David McMaster

Glenavon 1 Crusaders 3

Crusaders sealed an Europa League spot by exacting revenge over Glenavon for their Irish Cup semi-final loss.

Declan Caddell put the visitors in front inside the first minute when he slid his shot under Sean McIlhone after Paul Heatley had played him through.

Unfortunately for Heatley his impact on the game was to be short lived as he hobbled off with what looked like a knee injury. He was replaced by Nathan Hanley.

The game lost some of its impetus at this point with the best of the chances falling to Crusaders. A half-volley from Gary McCutcheon almost crept in after deflecting off Jordan Dane. Andy Smith was racing in at the back post when Dane recovered to clear the ball for a corner.

The Crues introduced Nathan Hanley at half-time and he wasted little time in making an impact. A cross from the right was headed against the bar by Jordan Owens, and as the ball came back down Hanley knocked the ball in from a yard out.

The victory was sealed before the hour mark when McCutcheon and David McMaster played a neat one-two with the former Portadown forward rolling the ball home to make it 3-0.

Glenavon were denied what looked to be a certain penalty when Craig McClean brought Mark Sykes in the box. The home defence were incensed with referee Ross Dunlop giving Gary Hamilton a talking to after he had raged at a linesman.

They did get a spot kick when Josh Robinson brought down Winkie Murphy, with Andy McGrory sending his kick into the top corner.