Cliftonville 1-0 Glentoran
Ryan Curran’s ice-cool finish helped Cliftonville see off Glentoran and make it three wins from three in the Danske Bank Premiership.
He was in the right place at the right time to stroke the ball beyond visiting goalkeeper Aaron McCarey, whose save from Jamie McDonagh’s 70th minute effort had fallen into his path.
Joe Gormley went agonisingly close to making it 2-0 with a left footed attempt shortly afterwards but one goal proved sufficient to maintain the Reds’ 100% start to the season.
That statistic had looked under threat as the visitors carved out a series of early chances, the first of which saw Jay Donnelly divert a Paddy McClean blast onto the top of the crossbar.
Ruaidhri Donnelly then nodded wide from an inviting Hrvoje Plum delivery and, in between times, good work from Glentoran defender Luke McCullough prevented Gormley from taking advantage of getting in behind McClean.
Levi Ives was next to threaten for Cliftonville but his effort was easily fielded by Aaron McCarey, who also dealt with a Jamie McDonagh effort before home stopper Declan Dunne repelled a low strike from Shay McCartan.
A perfectly-timed challenge from Jamie Harney stopped Ruaidhri Donnelly from converting Robbie McDaid’s 38th minute delivery in what would prove the Glens’ last significant chance thanks to Cliftonville taking a greater grip on proceedings in the second-half.
Gormley saw an attempt blocked by McClean before McDonagh curled a rasping effort just inches wide of the far post.
McCarey then saved from Gormley at the start of the sequence that would lead to the day’s only goal. The Reds’ high press prevented the visitors from getting the ball clear and, when McDonagh seized upon a loose pass from Bobby Burns, he raced forward and executed a shot which, though turned away by McCarey, presented the ball to Curran, who made no mistake with a first-time finish.
It was almost 2-0 soon later when Gormley steered just wide, while the only real threat Glentoran provided in their search for an equaliser was a dangerous Burns delivery which Dunne did well to claim.
Cliftonville: Dunne, Ives, Harney, C Curran, Hale, R Curran, McDonagh, Addis, Doherty, Gormley, Gallagher. Subs: D Breen, Foster (McDonagh, 88 mins), Lowe (Gormley, 81 mins), Casey, Turner, Coates, Scannell.
Match Sponsor: Jim Boyce
Matchball Sponsor: Billy Hosie Snr
Half-Gate Draw Number: 7884