Continuing our mini-series of European anniversaries in the countdown to Cliftonville’s return to action, our latest continental retrospective celebrates one of the most iconic results in the Club’s long history.
For it was on this very day back in 2007 that the Reds recorded their first ever win in UEFA competition, securing Intertoto Cup progress at the expense of Latvian outfit FC Dinaburg who, try as they might, simply couldn’t prevent their visitors from also securing a maiden clean sheet on the European stage.
Arriving at the Celtnieks Stadium in Daugavpils on the back of a 1-1 draw at Windsor Park the previous week, Cliftonville knew they needed to register an away goal to have any chance of advancing – and they duly delivered with just seven minutes on the clock.
Sean Friars’ darting run down the left flank ended with a cross which, though just too high for Mark Holland to connect with, fell invitingly for George McMullan at the back post and, ignoring the Red Army’s vociferous appeals to have a shot, he dinked the ball back into the area, where Holland pounced to nod down into a muddy goalmouth and beyond the despairing grasp of Vadims Fedorovs.
Both sides had a host of opportunities to add to the scoring in the action-packed remainder of the game, but Dinaburg – who had former Ukraine international Artem Yashkin sent off in the closing stages – could not prevent Cliftonville from progressing to meet KAA Gent of Belgium in the next round.
Cliftonville: Connolly, Fleming, O’Hara, McAlinden, R Scannell, G McMullan, Johnston, O’Connor, Friars, C Scannell, M Holland. Subs: Kennedy (for G McMullan), B Holland (for Friars), Sweeney (for M Holland).