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Ards 1-4 Cliftonville

Cricky Gallagher joined Jonny Addis in opening his scoring account for Cliftonville in this evening’s League Cup third round defeat of Ards.

Gallagher’s eye-catching strike came just a minute after the hosts had cancelled out Addis’ headed opener, with Ryan Curran and substitute Joe Gormley going on to complete the job thereafter and set up a quarter-final trip to Portadown.

Long stretches of the first-half saw the Reds patiently trying to break down a well-drilled home defence and it perhaps came as no surprise that it took a set piece to do so. Though the initial corner delivery from the right was blocked, Aaron Donnelly’s delivery back into the middle was met by Addis, who gave goalkeeper Ethan Carry no chance with a looping header.

Addis went close to making it 2-0 with another header and Rory Hale curled an attempt wide before half-time, but the second period was just minutes old by the time Ards equalised; Jamie Glover blasting past Luke McNicholas after a well-worked free-kick routine.

Cliftonville were back in front within 60 seconds, though. Chris Curran did well to weave a route past Chris Crane on the flank and laid a pass back for Gallagher to sweep into the top corner.

A first-time delivery from Jamie McDonagh saw Ryan Curran convert from close range to make it 3-1 before the scoring was completed when Gormley thundered in from distance.

Cliftonville: McNicholas, C Curran (Kearns, 79 mins), Hale (McDonagh, 61 mins), R. Curran, O’Neill (Gormley, 61 mins), Lowe (Harney, 79 mins), A Donnelly, Addis (Foster, 85 mins), Doherty, Turner, Gallagher. Unused subs: O Donnelly, Casey.