Dungannon Swifts 0-4 Cliftonville
Three goals in five minutes either side of the half-time break put Cliftonville in command of this afternoon’s Danske Bank Premiership clash with Dungannon Swifts.
The Reds had looked set to head into the interval with no advantage to show for shading the opening 45 minutes until Garry Breen pounced with a left-footed finish after getting on the end of Levi Ives’ free-kick delivery.
Shortly after the turnaround, Joe Gormley tapped in number two after being teed up by Ryan Curran, who would himself make it 3-0 with a close-range finish.
Some smart work from Gormley saw him round Swifts keeper Sam Johnston to add the fourth with 10 minutes left to play and put the seal on a convincing away day success.
Cliftonville had started the contest brightly but saw a series of promising attacks break down just when the decisive ball needed to be played, although they nearly pulled ahead in fortuitous circumstances when Ives and Conor McMenamin comboned to deliver a cross which ended with Seanan Clucas’ attempted clearance striking Kris Lowe and almost ricocheting into the net.
Gormley was then left utterly perplexed when, having ridden a challenge from Dylan King, he found himself clear on goal only for referee Etienne Mangion to call play back for the Reds to be awarded a free-kick due to an apparent handball by the Swifts defender.
Conor McDermott flashed an attempt wide in the closing minutes of the first-half before the deadlock was broken when Ives’ free-kick picked out Breen at the back post and he produced a firm finish to grant the visitors a half-time advantage.
They would double that lead shortly after the interval when Curran seized upon possession inside the area and drilled in a beauty of a cross for Gormley to convert from close range.
It was 3-0 on 50 minutes when another Ives set-piece was met by Curran, whose downward header could only be helped into the net by Dungannon keeper Johnston.
Gormley, McDermott and Ronan Wilson all tried their luck as the Reds began to dominate proceedings, before Johnston was grateful to grasp a McMenamin strike at the second time of asking.
The fourth and final goal arrived on 80 minutes when hard work from substitute Seanna Foster ended with McMenamin dinking a delightful ball forward for Gormley to touch past the keeper before stroking into the net.
Cliftonville: Brush, McDermott, Ives, Breen, Harney, C Curran, R Curran, R Donnelly, Doherty, Gormley, McMenamin. Subs: McKenna, Foster (McDermott, 75 mins), Wilson (Doherty, 28 mins), Bagnall, Maguire (R Curran, 78 mins), A Donnelly, Gorman.