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Eu Reds: Haugesund

As the countdown to Cliftonville’s return to action continues, our latest European retrospective steps back just 12 months to the most recent continental occasion at Solitude.

For it was on this day last year that the Reds suffered a narrow defeat to Haugesund in the first leg of the sides’ Europa League First Qualifying Round clash.

After Joe Gormley and Ibrahima Kone had threatened a breakthrough at either end, home skipper Chris Curran went close to ending the stalemate when he flashed a header just wide from Conor McDermott’s delivery.

The visitors – who were the first Norwegian Club side to visit Solitude on competitive duty – opened the scoring just before the interval when Christian Grindheim converted a cross from from Mikkel Desler and they might have made it 2-0 early in the second-half only for Niklas Sandberg’s free-kick to bring a smart save out of Richard Brush.

Haugesund were reduced to 10 men on 78 minutes when Torbjorn Kallevag’s high challenge on McDermott earned a predictable dismissal, although the closest Cliftonville came to taking advantage of his absence was an injury-time header from Ronan Doherty which whistled just wide of the post.

Cliftonville: Brush, McDermott, Ives, Breen, C Curran, R Donnelly, Bagnall, Doherty, Gormley, McMenamin, Gorman. Subs: Dunne, Harney, Harkin, R Curran (for C Curran, 66 mins), Foster, Wilson, Maguire (for Gorman, 86 mins).