Cliftonville 4-0 Warrenpoint Town
Conor McDermott scored the pick of the bunch as Cliftonville put four without reply past Warrenpoint Town at a rain-drenched Solitude this afternoon.
After Mark McKee had broken the deadlock with his first goal for the Club, McDermott produced a stunning individual effort to double the Reds’ advantage; coolly picking a clearance out of the sky, flicking the ball over the head of Point skipper Alan O’Sullivan and beating goalkeeper Beeraat Turker from fully 60 yards with the most nonchalant of chips.
Joe Gormley netted from considerably closer to make it 3-0 before half-time ahead of Ryan Curran’s second-half penalty completing the scoring for the hosts.
It took Cliftonville a little while to find their stride but, once they got going, they were simply unstoppable.
Curran miscued his pass in an early attempt to thread Gormley through, while an offside flag prevented Ruaidhri Donnelly from making the most of Garry Breen’s pass.
Turker saved well from Curran as the Reds began to click through the gears and it wasn’t long before the stalemate was broken when McKee exchanged passes with Gormley before confidently slotting past the keeper.
The Town custodian was left picking the ball out of his net again shortly afterwards when McDermott conjured up a moment of magic from absolutely nowhere – lifting the ball over a back-tracking Turker from inside his own half to further underline Cliftonville’s authority on proceedings.
Ronan Doherty then saw an attempt hacked off the line ahead of the Reds adding to their tally with a sensational team goal that saw every player except Ryan Curran touch the ball in the build-up to Donnelly seeing his shot saved by Turker before Gormley pounced to convert the rebound.
The second period started with half-time substitute Thomas Maguire’s low delivery almost being turned into his own net by former Cliftonville defender Dermot McVeigh, whose foul on Gormley soon afterwards afforded Curran the opportunity to make it 4-0 from the spot.
Gormley should have made it 5-0 with a close-range header and, as the visitors tried desperately to clear the ball, Maguire was unfortunate not to make contact with a delivery fizzed across the face of goal.
Turker then denied Aaron Donnelly and was also well placed to stop Maguire from adding to the hosts’ tally when the forward found himself one-on-one with the keeper after being played through by Curran.
Cliftonville: Brush, McDermott, McKee, Breen, Harney, C. Curran, R. Curran, R Donnelly, Doherty, Gormley, A Donnelly. Subs: Dunne, Foster (McDermott, 60 mins), Wilson (McKee, 74 mins), Maguire (R Donnelly, 46 mins), Casey, Gorman, McCurry.