Joe Gormley pounced for the only goal of the game as Cliftonville celebrated a winning return to Solitude this afternoon.
Following a month on the road, the Reds played host to an Institute side who more than held their own throughout a scrappy contest that was ultimately settled when Gormley seized on a delicate touch from Rory Donnelly to power a fierce strike past Martin Gallagher.
Both sides saw opportunities restricted throughout, however Stute might have snatched a point when Joe McCready was presented with an opening that drew a fine block from Richard Brush.
Cliftonville enjoyed much of the early pressure without really threatening in front of goal with the first effort of note not arriving until the 20th minute when Rory Donnelly volleyed over after receiving a cross from Conor McMenamin.
Further pressure followed with Aaron Harkin finding Gormley but, despite controlling the ball, he could only fire over while, towards the end of the first half, Jamie Harney saw a header punched away by Martin Gallagher.
What proved to be the only goal of the game came four minutes after the interval when Donnelly laid the ball off for Gormley to rifle past Gallagher from inside the area.
Stute attempted to hit back with Aaron Jarvis having an effort charged down by Harney, while the hosts almost doubled their advantage towards the end when Chris Curran chipped a cross over from the right for Harkin but Gallagher was on hand to tip the ball onto an upright.
Yet the visitors might still have snatched a point only for Brush to thwart Joe McCready when the Stute man found himself with time and space in the box in the closing minutes.
Cliftonville: Brush, Breen, Harney, C Curran, R Curran, R Donnelly, A Harkin, Bagnall, Gormley, McMenamin, Gorman. Subs: Neeson, Ives, Grace (for R Curran, 70 mins), Catney (for Gormley, 89 mins), McConnell, Maguire, A Donnelly.