With just three days until Cliftonville return to Europa League action, cliftonvillefc.net continues a weekly mini-series reflecting on the good, the bad and the in-betweens of the 2018/19 season.
Every Monday, we’re taking a chronological look back on a new month from the campaign – with an encouraging March taking centre stage today.
Buoyed by some promising results in the aftermath of Paddy McLaughlin’s appointment as Manager, it was with renewed confidence that the Reds travelled to Mourneview Park for a rearranged Danske Bank Premiership encounter with Glenavon.
The deadlock was broken just before the break when Conor McMenamin settled a goalmouth scramble by rifling past goalkeeper Jonny Tuffey, who was beaten again in the closing minutes when Joe Gormley teed Ryan Curran up to put the seal on a 2-0 success.
The following week, Gormley bagged the only goal of a home joust with McLaughlin’s former employers Institute before Cliftonville suffered North Belfast Derby defeat courtesy of two poorly-defended set pieces at Seaview.
The Reds responded brightly to that setback, however, and enjoyed a typically dramatic outcome when Glentoran visited the following week.
After falling behind to an early Paul O’Neill header, the hosts levelled through Rory Donnelly in the second-half before Curran pounced to a seal a third consecutive injury-time triumph over the east Belfast side.
March duly ended with supporters nominating Curran – who scored three goals in four appearances – their Sean Graham Player of the Month as the Reds headed into April sensing that European football might just be up for grabs…
Glenavon 0-2 Cliftonville
McMenamin, R Curran
Cliftonville 1-0 Institute
Crusaders 2-0 Cliftonville
Cliftonville 2-1 Glentoran
R Donnelly, R Curran