Crusaders made it to the quarter finals of the League Cup thanks to a last-minute winner from midfield maestro Matthew Snoddy.
In a game that struggled to get into top gear in its majority, Snoddy’s delightful lob at the beginning of injury time snatched the victory for the Hatchetmen.
Opponents Ballinamallard United have now lost their last nine games despite putting in a dogged display against the Premiership champions.
Nine changes were made to the Crues team that beat Cliftonville in a dramatic derby win on Friday night but the fresh legs couldn’t break down United’s defence in the opening half.
Ross Holden made a super run into the opposition’s box before playing the ball to David Cushley who struggled to trouble the Fermanagh team’s keeper, John Connolly.
Wasteful balls were aplenty in a half that offered little quality. Ballinamallard’s number 15 Michael Glynn, did however show signs of class. The 16-year-old had the ball glued to his feet and wasn’t afraid to get his head down and show his potential.
A shot by Mallard’s Daragh O’Brien brought the lacklustre first 45 to a close, with a powerful effort that curled over the top of the crossbar.
The championship side, sitting bottom in the league, played some neat football in the opening minutes of the second half and put the Crues under pressure.
Their efforts were rewarded when Glynn once again showed his prowess, keeping his cool, and slotting the ball into the bottom corner of the net to give his side the lead.
It certainly rattled Crusaders with manager Stephen Baxter resorting to some bigger names to try and turn fortunes around.
The introduction of Jordan Owens’ stature made a difference as he became the main target before Rory Patterson arrived to try and galvanise the team.
But it was Jordan’s brother Kyle whose head found Michael Ruddy’s cross to make the score 1-1.
The game looked like it was heading for extra-time and maybe even penalties but it was super-sub Matthew Snoddy’s touch of class that sent Seaview home happy and the Crues into the quarter finals.