Cliftonville commenced their European preparations with a narrow victory over Finn Harps courtesy of an early strike from Jason McGuinness at Solitude this evening. The new boy pounced to convert Levi Ives' 14th minute cross before a string of saves at either end of the park ensured there would be no further goals to report. It was no surprise to see Harps start the brighter and, after taking a little while to establish themselves following a six-week lay-off, the Reds pulled ahead just before the quarter-hour when a Martin Donnelly free-kick wasn't fully cleared and Ives' delivery was touched home by the unmarked McGuinness. Fellow debutant Jason Mooney then made two fine stops to deny Sean Houston; first coming out on top in a one-on-one duel before showing sharp reactions to turn a powerful volley against the base of the post. Visiting keeper Harry Doherty turned a point-blank Darren Murray header over the top and then got down well to stop Ryan Catney finding the bottom corner with a rasping drive from distance. Doherty then thwarted Jay Donnelly, who was also unlucky to see a powerful header deflected behind by John Mailey, before Murray somehow failed to convert after the keeper had kept a Chris Curran effort out. The second-half commenced with Houston being kept at bay by Cliftonville's substitute keeper Peter Burke, who then did well to stop Ryan Curran from fully capitalising on Caoimhin Bonner's under-hit backpass. With a raft of changes diluting the rhythm of proceedings, chances were suddenly few and far between although Jay Donnelly did have a brace of opportunities to extend the Reds' advantage; first failing to execute an attempted chip of Doherty before lashing a half-volley wide of the mark. Harps might have levelled in the closing stages when Raymond Foy negotiated a path to goal but, with only Burke to beat, he sent his shot inches over the top.
Cliftonville 1-0 Finn Harps
Date Friday, June 17, 2016
Competition Pre-Season Friendly
Venue Solitude, Belfast
29. 2. 3. 4. 5. 7. 11. 12. 16. 17. 18.
Jason Mooney Jaimie McGovern Levi Ives Caoimhin Bonner Jason McGuinness Chris Curran Martin Donnelly Darren Murray Jay Donnelly Ryan Catney Jude Winchester
1. 6. 8. 9. 10. 14. 15.
Peter Burke Gary Donnelly Ross Lavery Daniel Hughes Martin Murray Trialist Cormac Lawlor