Calvin McCurry struck twice as Cliftonville Olympic began the new Premiership Development League season with a 4-2 victory over Coleraine Reserves at Solitude on Saturday.
After observing a minute’s silence in memory of Tommy Breslin, goals from Conor Scannell, Lee O’Brien and a double from McCurry (pictured) earned the Reds all three points at the end of a hard-working display.
Despite creating a number of openings during a bright start, Cliftonville fell behind midway through the first-half and saw a host of other opportunities come and go before Scannell levelled from Mark Donnelly’s assist.
A poor challenge on Peter McKiernan saw the visitors reduced to 10 men after the interval and the Reds made the most of their numerical advantage to rain a host of shots down on the impressive Bannsiders keeper, whose raft of saves kept his side in the game.
Home pressure would finally tell, however, and the Olympic edged in front when O’Brien found the night directly from a corner kick – but the lead would last just a few minutes as Coleraine quickly levelled things at 2-2.
That setback didn’t deter the young Cliftonville side, though, and they would go on to win the game thanks to McCurry (pictured) converting after being teed up by Eoin Matassa and Caolan Millen.