Cliftonville 5-0 Lisburn Distillery
Ryan Catney’s first goal in two-and-a-half years set Cliftonville on course to County Antrim Shield First Round victory over Lisburn Distillery at Solitude this evening.
After passing up a host of chances to take the lead, the Reds opened the scoring when Catney rifled in a powerful blast to register his first strike since February 2016 ahead of Jay Donnelly doubling the advantage before half-time.
Joe Gormley’s brace edged him ever closer to Cliftonville’s all-time scoring record before Ryan Curran put the seal on a comfortable night’s work for the hosts.
Clearly determined to shake Saturday’s shock defeat to Warrenpoint Town out of their system, the Reds started with all guns blazing and threatened through Gormley three times in the opening 17 minutes, while Jaimie McGovern rocketed an attempt into the side netting from distance.
Jay Donnelly was denied by Whites keeper Jonah Nicholl before Catney broke the deadlock when he raced onto Chris Curran’s cutback to find the net via the bar.
Donnelly made it 2-0 when he found the bottom corner soon later and, before the first-half was out, Gormley, Ryan Curran and Conor McDonald each saw opportunities come and go.
Gormley’s frustrations continued after the turnaround when first he lashed a free-kick over the top and then, when he did evade goalkeeper Nicholl, was denied by Distillery captain Barry Moore before the visiting keeper made an astonishing save to stop McDonald converting the rebound after Jamie Harney had rattled the woodwork.
Gormley finally got his goal on 62 minutes, however, when he picked his spot after being teed up by Ross Lavery and it wasn’t long before the same player made it 4-0 with a curling finish following some enterprising build-up from Ryan Curran.
The players reversed roles for the final goal of the night three minutes from time when Gormley, having found the angle too tight to net from after rounding Nicholl from Conor McMenamin’s assist, provided Curran with a chance that he simply couldn’t miss.
Cliftonville: Neeson, McGovern, Ives, Harney, C Curran, R Curran, McDonald, Catney, Gormley, J Donnelly, McNulty. Subs: McConnell (C Curran, 68 mins), Lavery (McNulty, 46 mins), Maguire, McMenamin (J Donnelly, 63 mins), A Donnelly.
Half Gate Draw Number: 88694