Crusaders 7 Carrick Rangers 1
Crusaders' wing wizard Gavin Whyte admits he's flying and thirsty for more goals after torturing Carrick Rangers on Saturday.
Fresh from his dramatic late winner in the IRN-BRU Cup quarter-final at Dundee United, the 21-year-old blasted in a 19-minute first half hat-trick as the Crues brushed aside David McAlinden's men with ease.
Jamie Glackin celebrated another sparkling individual performance with a brace while Jordan Owens and substitute Ryan Nimick, with his first Premiership strike, joined in the goalscoring fun.
Stuart McMullan's late header was scant consolation for the visitors on a day when the Crues' hot attacking talents including Whyte strutted their stuff.
"I'm glad to get the win but I'll take any goals I can and in whatever minute," said Whyte, who has caught the eye of cross-channel scouts.
"The boys are trying to say there was a deflection after the free kick but they are messing me about, I'm taking it.
"I didn't really have a good start to the season but now I'm flying and the team is too. We just need to keep it going. We are training hard and the gaffer is giving us lots of confidence.
"Once you get one goal you always look for another but I'm just happy with the win. If any team at the top drops points it's good for us but we are focused on our own performances and results. We want to catch the other teams. At 4-0 we weren't happy, we wanted more goals as did the manager. You have to do that.
"We have a few injuries and that always tests the squad but we want to keep this run going.
"I also felt Jamie had a great game. He hasn't been starting games but he did here and showed what he can do, I'm delighted for him."
Carrick boss David McAlinden said he didn't believe the heavy loss would dent his players' confidence.
"We knew it was going to be a difficult season and what we needed was people of the right character to respond to that challenge," said the former Cliftonville and Crusaders defender.
"It's not ideal losing in this manner, it is massively disappointing but we can't dwell on it. I'll assess it, that's my job and the players will focus on producing a positive reaction on Saturday away to Dungannon.
"Crusaders are a very good side but we should not be conceding seven goals against anyone. It's the first time this season but it's still unacceptable."
Crusaders: Jensen, Burns, Beverland, Coates, Caddell, Forsythe, Owens, Glackin, Heatley, Whyte, Brown. Subs: Ward (Burns, 46 mins), Cushley (Heatley, 46 mins), McClean, Nimick (Owens, 74 mins), Kerr.
Carrick: Doherty, Larmour, Edgar, McMullan, Gage, McAllister, Hassin, Clarke, Surgenor, Chapman, Maybin. Subs: Morrow (Chapman, 58 mins), Smyth (Gage, 26 mins), Rice, Roy, Smith.
Referee: Ian McNabb (Newtownabbey)
Man of the match: Gavin Whyte
Match rating: 8/10