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Plus points for Gray

Barry Gray says he was pleased with how comfortable Cliftonville made things for themselves in yesterday’s victory over Warrenpoint Town – in spite of the visitors getting within touching distance of salvaging a point in the closing stages.

Two goals to the good courtesy of Garry Breen and Levi Ives, the Reds saw their advantage halved when Marc Griffin pulled one back five minutes from time, only for Jay Donnelly to wrap up the points soon later.

“We’re disappointed to have conceded and not got the clean sheet but overall we have to be very happy with the way we’ve won the game,” he said.

“We wanted to start on the front foot, we did that and we got ourselves a couple of goals and we were pretty much in control. We began the second half a little bit slowly for five or 10 minutes, but we grew back into it and could have scored a few more before they got their goal back, but we responded well to that and made sure of things.

“It was a win that we deserved to get and overall the players did all that could have been asked of them. Our confidence isn’t as high as it could be because of how inconsistent we’ve been, but one way to lift confidence is to work hard, produce performances and get results and we’ve done that.”

Gray also revealed the story behind a light-hearted moment when Cliftonville fans urged set-piece specialist Ives forward to take an injury-time free-kick, only for the Manager to direct him back where he came from.

“Levi came into the game with a slight injury that he had to play through and I know the supporters wanted him to have another go from a free-kick, but I just didn’t see any point in risking him aggravating anything with the last kick when we were 3-1 up. I can understand why they wanted him to take it, though, that’s two in the last two games and that was another pleasing thing about the game – three goals from three different players and none of them were Joe Gormley.

“We’ve maybe overly relied on Joe and asked too much of him at times, so spreading more goals throughout the team is something important that we’ve been working on and it was good to see that happen for us here.”