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Trick of delight

Regular readers of our Matchday Magazine will know all the facts and figures behind each new week at Cliftonville Football Club, while our Twitter followers are regaled with daily delves into the archives and yesterday’s victory over Portadown provided another notable milestone.

Michael McCrudden’s opening goal in the 5-0 success was the 700th time the Reds have found the net at home on Premiership duty, while his third strike of the day – which, incidentally, came from the team’s first penalty of the season – saw him become the Club’s 90th different player to celebrate a hat-trick and was also his first treble since he helped former employers Institute to a 6-4 victory over Cliftonville at The Brandywell on December 22, 2018.

The match also saw Richard Brush keep the 14th clean sheet of Paddy McLaughlin’s 26 League games in charge at Solitude as the Reds extended their winning streak without conceding against Portadown to an impressive 13 meetings dating all the way back to January 18, 2014.

Since that 1-0 defeat in Belfast, the Reds have scored 30 times without reply, with yesterday’s triumph equalling the Club’s joint-biggest defeat of the Ports – a 5-0 success on February 2, 1949.

In all, Cliftonville have scored five or more in a single game against Portadown on six occasions – two 5-4 victories, a 5-3 win, a double of 5-0s, a 5-5 draw and an 11-6 defeat which ranks as the Club’s highest-scoring game in history.

The weekend in numbers
700: Michael McCrudden’s opener was Cliftonville’s 700th Premiership home goal
Michael McCrudden is the 90th player to score a hat-trick for the Reds
Clean sheets in Paddy McLaughlin’s 26 Premiership matches at Solitude
Amount of consecutive wins Cliftonville have recorded against Portadown
Number of times the Reds have scored five or more in a game against the Ports
Michael McCrudden banked his first treble since scoring four for Institute against the Reds in December 2018
Number of times Cliftonville have beaten the Ports 5-0
Goals conceded in 13 meetings with Portadown since January 18, 2014