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Force of numbers

Cliftonville have recorded three wins from three outings so far this season but that’s not the only statistic emanating from a busy opening week of action.

Victories over Knockbreda and Dundela booked the Reds’ place in the semi-finals of the County Antrim Shield before Paddy McLaughlin’s men began their Danske Bank Premiership schedule with a 1-0 triumph against Glentoran – a result that stretches the Club’s unbeaten run on the opening day of a League campaign to 23 years.

The clash with Knockbreda saw Cliftonville bank a seventh recorded win in 10 meetings with the Bluefin Sport Championship outfit, with Club Heritage Development Officer Paul Treanor still eager for information pertaining to the sides’ first encounter in the summer of 1995.

Three players – Stephen McGuinness, Lee O’Brien and Ethan Devine – made their debuts in the subsequent 7-2 victory over Dundela, which saw Odhrán Casey handed his first senior start.

In what was the Reds’ 60th Shield success at Solitude, Joe Gormley became the first player in nine years to score four times in a single game – with his 12th hat-trick moving him to within a further treble of equalling Sid Over’s Club record.

Saturday, meanwhile, delivered the latest chapter in the most frequent fixture in Cliftonville history when we did battle with Glentoran for the 590th time.

In what was also the Reds’ 275th home game against the east Belfast side (and 1475th home League fixture overall), Ryan Curran’s late strike ensured a 1010th Solitude success and levelled the teams’ Premiership head-to-head at the venue up at 16 wins and 11 draws apiece as the Club’s 433rd Premiership home outing ended in a 209th win.

The week in numbers
1475: Saturday’s match was Cliftonville’s 1475th home League fixture.
Amount of games the Reds have won at Solitude.
Cliftonville have faced Glentoran more times than any other opponent.
433: Total number of Premiership home games the Reds have played.
275: Saturday’s clash was the 275th time the Club have hosted Glentoran.
209: Amount of Premiership home victories.
60: Number of County Antrim Shield games Cliftonville have won at Solitude.
23: Years since the Reds have lost on the opening day of a League season.
16: Cliftonville and Glentoran have both won 16 of the sides’ 43 Premiership meetings at Solitude.
12: Number of hat-tricks Joe Gormley has scored, one behind Club record holder Sid Over.
9: The 7-2 defeat of Dundela delivered the highest scoring return in the fixture’s history.
7: Amount of recorded wins against Knockbreda, with the outcome of one meeting still unknown.
4: Joe Gormley scored four goals in a game for the first time.
3: Players made their senior debuts against Dundela.