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Fashionably late

Cliftonville 2-1 Knockbreda

As is becoming par for the course in the County Antrim Shield, Cliftonville left it late to seal a comeback win over a rugged Knockbreda outfit in today’s first round encounter at Solitude.

Trailing when Reds legend Stephen Garrett marked his Breda debut by dinking his new Club in front, the Reds toiled for long stretches of the first-half before a very noticeable improvement after the interval.

Michael McCrudden – the man now wearing the number 10 jersey vacated by Garrett – lobbed visiting keeper Lewis Deane to level and the hosts should have been afforded the opportunity to edge in front from the penalty spot when Conor McMenamin was tripped in the box, only for referee Raymond Crangle to stun most people in the ground by booking the Cliftonville forward for diving.

With a few minutes left on the clock, though, the winning goal that had seemed inevitable for quite some time came when substitute Joe Gormley touched the ball into the corner from close range.

Full report to follow…