There was just stopping Jordan Owens at the Oval last night.
The giant striker gobbled up wonderful double strike to help Crusaders book a place in the semi-finals of the BetMcLean League Cup.
David Cushley and substitute Paul Heatley also got in on the scoring stakes for the impressive Crues, while Robbie McDaid and Curtis Allen were on the mark for Glentoran, whose season appears to be slipping from bad to worse. They have now lost seven of their last nine games.
The Glens, however, did get off to a dream start with McDaid’s effort on 10 minutes.
Nathan Kerr sent Curtis Allen scampering down the left. His measured cross picked out Conor Pepper, whose crisp header rapped the post, but the alert McDaid pounced to stab home.
Having recovered from that early body blow, the Crues were back on term 15 minutes later.
Gary Thompson managed to wriggle his way free on the right and when he drilled in a low cross, goalkeeper Elliott Morris could only paw the ball into the path of Owens, who made no mistake – his fourth of the season.
But the Glens responded in the best possible manner with Allen gobbling up his 11th goal of the campaign.
The in-form striker was involved with a delicious inter-change with McDaid and, when he roared into the box, he cleverly beat goalkeeper Harry Doherty at his near post.
In keeping with the flow, the Crues almost equalised nine minutes before the interval. Ross Clarke tried his luck from distance, his effort coming off Calum Birney and falling nicely for Thompson. But Birney produced another brave, telling challenge at the expense of a corner kick.
After the restart, the Glens stitched a great move with McDaid sending Pepper free on the right. When the former Morton man delivered a wonderful cross, McDaid arrived only to send his header wide.
The Crues had the ball in net just on the hour when Clarke’s free kick was eventually tucked away by Philip Lowry, who was ruled offside by referee Arnold Hunter.
But Cushley had better luck seconds later. Cushley latched on to a Jordan Owens pass and, after holding off a challenge from Birney, managed to roll a low shot under the outstretched arm of Morris.
It could have been worse for the Glens when Clarke burst forward on 63 minutes only to see Morris pow his shot wide.
But it was only delaying the inevitable. Cushley whipped in a corner kick from the right and Owens got up above everyone else to power home.
Heatley put the icing on a superb performance by hitting his team’s fourth five minutes from time. He cut in from the left to curl a beauty past Morris – only three minutes after replacing Thompson.
GLENTORAN: Morris, Garrett, Kane, Birney, Gallagher, Allen, McDaid, Kerr, Pepper, Redman, Ferrin. Unused sub: Nelson, McMahon, Prentice, Gordon, McCarthy, O’Neill, Smith.
CRUSADERS: Doherty, Lowry, Ward, Cushley (Heatley 82), Caddell, K Owens, Ruddy, J Owens, Brown, Thompson (Forsythe 76), Clarke.Unused subs: O’Neill, McChrystal, Glackin, Forsythe, Snoddy, Heatley, Patterson.
REFEREE: Arnold Hunter.