Crusaders 2 Glenavon 0
Paul Heatley celebrates scoring against Glenavon
Paul Heatley and Philip Lowry scored either side of half time for Crusaders to beat Glenavon in a workmanlike performance at Seaview.
The Lurgan Blues were reduced to ten men late on when Rory Brown handled outside the box, by which time the damage had been done.
Glenavon showed admirable grit and determination throughout but were undone by the quality of Stephen Baxter's side.
Heatley opened on the stroke of half time with a looping header close in with Lowry stabbed in from close range approaching the hour mark.
After losing to neighbours Cliftonville last week, Baxter demanded a reaction, made changes and professed himself satisfied with his team's display.
“I was pleased with certain aspects of our game,” said the Crusaders manager.
“I couldn't walk away from the game and say I'm thrilled with it, the fluency in the game.
“There good bits and bobs that pleased me, and there were other bits and bobs that were just rank average.
“The perfectionist in me will always be that way, but I was pleased with the response from the game against Cliftonville, I think that's the best way to put it.
“We lost a big game and bounced back with a reasonably comfortable victory.”
Ben Kennedy, Rory McKeown and Jordan Forsythe made way for Robbie Weir, Lloyd Anderson and Ross Clarke following defeat to Cliftonville last Monday night, while Calum Birney replaced Sean Ward for Glenavon.
The first half was a dogged affair with Crusaders showing more intent but being held at bay by the visitors for the most part.
Heatley had the first opportunity to score after just eight minutes when Clarke picked him out in the box, but the 36-year-old forward nodded straight at RoryRead on belfasttelegraph.co.uk