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Reds warn to the challenge

Barry Gray was delighted that Cliftonville heeded his warning about the threat posed by Ballinamallard United yesterday and praised his players for the bright start that set the tone for a convincing 5-0 success.

Joe Gormley was twice denied inside the first two minutes before Jay Donnelly make the breakthrough, with Gormley netting a double before half-time ahead of Daniel Hughes’ late brace wrapping things up as the Reds made it nine wins from 11 outings.

“Games like this can be so tricky and I warned the players Ballinamallard were dangerous because they had absolutely nothing to lose,” he explained.

“I warned them and I warned them and I warned them – and credit to them because they’ve listened, they’ve delivered, scored five goals and kept another clean sheet. I was on at them to make sure they were professional in what they did and I certainly can’t have any complaints with the way the game has gone. To be honest, once we scored the early goal, I didn’t have any worries.

“I think if you start like that against any team, you’re going to cause them problems and we had so many chances inside the first few minutes. Once we score, Ballinamallard don’t have anything to defend or hang on to, so we don’t get frustrated as the game goes on, but we’ve added another couple before half-time and that’s killed it completely.

“It was a very good performance right through the team and I think the scoreline shows that.

“We’ve been on a good run lately and this win continues that but if there’s one thing I’m good at as a Manager it’s keeping people’s feet on the ground so there’s no danger of us getting ahead of ourselves at all.”