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Derry City 1-2 Cliftonville

Cliftonville began their pre-season programme with a 2-1 victory over Derry City at Brandywell Stadium this evening.

Thomas Maguire’s early finish broke the deadlock before Conor McMenamin struck to ensure the Candystripes’ late reply was a mere consolation as the Reds limbered up for their forthcoming Europa League commitments with an impressive display against their League of Ireland hosts.

Boss Paddy McLaughlin handed starts to recent recruits Ronan Doherty and Conor McDermott – the latter commencing his loan spell with an appearance against his parent Club – while fellow newcomer Seanna Foster featured from the bench.

After soaking up some early pressure, the Reds pulled ahead with 11 minutes on the clock when McDermott swung over a cross which was nodded into the danger area by McMenamin, with Maguire’s diving header taking the ball past former Cliftonville keeper Peter Cherrie.

McMenamin himself then went close to doubling the advantage before Rory Donnelly sent a free-kick whistling past the post.

Donnelly and Trialist A combined to produce an opening that nobody was able to take advantage of, while the second-half started with Donnelly directing a free-kick straight into Cherrie’s grasp.

Derry went close to levelling on 67 minutes with a header that drifted just wide but they would fall 2-0 behind soon later when the lively McMenamin raced clear to the net ahead of the hosts pulling one back through Barry McNamee two minutes from time.

Cliftonville: Brush, McDermott, Breen, Ives, Gorman, Harkin, Doherty, McMenamin, Maguire, R Donnelly, Trialist. Subs: Dunne (for Brush), Foster (for Breen), McConnell (for Maguire), Rocks (for Trialist), Whiteway (for McDermott), Casey, McKiernan.