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Calm into effect

Cliftonville produced a cool and calm display in yesterday’s Seaview stalemate with Crusaders, according to Barry Gray.

The Reds boss saw referee Raymond Crangle harshly disallow a well-taken Jay Donnelly strike before Joe Gormley broke the North Belfast Derby stalemate with a sizzling effort from distance.

Crusaders levelled through Paul Heatley almost instantly but the Manager was pleased with what he saw from his team.

“I thought our performance was good,” reflects Gray.

“We used the game to run our eye over a few things and we were pretty happy with some of them, whereas others require a bit more work or another look at, but overall I’m pleased with how we did.

“The ground was tense with what was at stake for Crusaders. The only place where it wasn’t tense was my dugout!

“And what a goal from Joe – that’s what the top strikers are capable of and, not for the first time, he’s scored a goal from nowhere when nothing seemed on.”

Gray also singled out Brian Neeson for praise a week after the Cliftonville keeper had endured a disappointing time of things in the defeat to Glenavon.

“Bam was brilliant, he kept us in it,” he adds.

“He has been great for us all season. There are parts of his game he needs to work on but the experience he has gained this season will only make him better.”