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We got the job done: Paddy

Paddy McLaughlin admits Cliftonville’s League Cup quarter-final victory over Portadown last night wasn’t necessarily pretty to watch but credited his players for getting the job done.

Trailing when Lee Bonis found the net early in the second-half, the Reds levelled when Ronan Doherty banked his second goal in as many games ahead of Daniel Kearns banking an extra-time victory.

The contest was significantly tighter than the 4-0 win Cliftonville clocked up against the Ports on Danske Bank Premiership duty last week – which came as no surprise to the Manager.

“We spoke before the game about the fact that when two teams play each other twice in the space of a week, very rarely is it the same game twice,” said McLaughlin.

“Portadown were at home, they’re coming off the back of a good result at the weekend and they had their support behind them, so credit to them. They’ve carried their organisation from Saturday into this game but, fair play to our lads, they’ve stuck at it and come from behind in a tough game.

“It wasn’t pretty to watch at times because there were a lot of physical battles all over the pitch and there wasn’t a lot of free-flowing football, so to overcome that and get the result, we’re delighted.”

McLaughlin was pleased with his players’ response to falling behind against a Portadown outfit who doggedly held on to their advantage for the majority of the second period.

“We do usually react well to going a goal down,” he added. “It’s not something we plan on or want to happen but our reaction was really strong. It kick-started us into moving the ball a lot quicker and creating more chances, but Portadown were really well organised and were hard to break down.

“We were down five or six players that might have started the game if they’d been available. Our squad’s been stretched a bit for the last couple of games but we’ve come through them and that’s down to the boys for their hard work and dedication.”