Two poorly-defended set pieces hit Cliftonville hard in this afternoon’s North Belfast Derby.
Crusaders took an early lead when, with just four minutes on the clock, Jordan Owens was able to rise unchallenged to nod Jordan Forsythe’s flighted free-kick home and, soon later, a delivery from a near identical area saw Kyle Owens make a mess of attempting to control the ball, only to see it find a fortunate route to the back of the net past a helpess Richard Brush.
The Reds dominated possession in the second-half – especially in the aftermath of serial offender Rory Hale being sent off after clattering into Jaimie McGovern – but could not turn that into anything tangible in the final third.
Joe Gormley whistled an outrageous free-kick inches over the top and had a header cleared off the line before Joe Gorman went close with a late chance that might have set up a grandstand finale.
Cliftonville: Brush, McGovern, Breen, Grace, C Curran, R Curran, R Donnelly, Bagnall, McMenamin, Gormley, Gorman. Subs: Neeson, Ives (for Breen, 15 mins), Garrett (for McMenamin, 79 mins), McConnell (for Bagnall, 60 mins), A Donnelly, Rocks, Whiteway.