Cliftonville 1-0 Coleraine
Conor McMenamin’s late header earned battling Cliftonville three valuable points from a feisty Danske Bank Premiership showdown with Coleraine.
A keenly contested affair hung on a knife edge throughout and it looked increasingly likely that one goal would win it – and so it proved as McMenamin leapt highest at the far post to convert Aaron Donnelly’s inviting delivery from the right.
The visitors squandered an early chance to seize the advantage when Jamie Glackin failed to take advantage after James McLaughlin pulled the ball back into his path before the Reds responded when McMenamin saw an effort pushed after by Chris Johns after being teed up by Joe Gormley.
The chances continued with an Eoin Bradley free-kick, a Ben Doherty shot just past the post and a McMenamin drive from distance before Doherty was thwarted again from 30-yards with Brush diving to tip the ball away for a corner.
The second-half was initially bereft of decent scoring opportunities before Brush did well to tip Stephen O’Donnell’s header around the post. Then, moments later, Ian Parkhill skimmed the crossbar with a right-foot effort from a tight angle.
Coleraine continued to press with Josh Carson somehow failing to beat Brush from three yards but, ultimately, the points stayed in north Belfast when McMenamin powerfully headed home from Donnelly’s fantastic back-post cross.
Cliftonville: Brush, McDermott, Breen, Harney, C Curran, R Curran, R Donnelly, Doherty, Gormley, McMenamin, A Donnelly. Subs: Dunne, Foster (Maguire, 90 mins), Wilson, Maguire (R. Donnelly, 55 mins), Rocks, McCurry, Gorman.