Crusaders kept up their pursuit of a league and cup double with a straightforward 2-0 win over PSNI at Seaview.
But Stephen Baxter’s side had to wait until the 65th minute to seize the advantage through David Cushley’s strike from the edge of the area despite an attempt by defender Ashton McDermott to clear the ball off the line.
The visitors suffered the loss of ‘keeper David Harrison on 80 minutes when he collected his second booking before Jordan Forsythe added a second in the closing minutes to seal the Crues place in the next round.
And Crusaders manager Baxter says it was a good result before Tuesday night’s County Antrim Shield Final against Linfield at the Ballymena Showgrounds.
“The lads did well today and whatever team we put out in the final, will be out there to win it.
“It is a game against our nearest rivals in the league and there will be bragging rights there for the taking.I am not going to get too hyped about it, but it is a final that we want to win.
“To win a trophy is brilliant and we have got into that groove at the minute to win the top trophies and that is good for us as a football club.
“But I have been saying for a while now that I want to competing in semi-finals and finals and chasing league titles. We are in that postion and we will be driving to keep at that level.”
And Baxter says David Healy’s side will test his team tomorrow night.
“They have been improving in the last 12 to 18 months and they have got a very competitive team.”