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Paddy hails Joe-to guy

Paddy McLaughlin toasted a “clinical and ruthless” display from Joe Gormley in yesterday’s Danske Bank Premiership victory over Portadown.

The striker set a new Cliftonville record with the 14th hat-trick of his Reds career, lifting him clear of the 13-treble milestone set by Sid Over back in the 1930s – and the Manager has backed him to further add to that tally.

“What a player, what a man and what a goalscoring record Joe Gormley’s got,” beamed McLaughlin.

“I’m sure there’ll be many more to come, too. That’s another hat-trick and he’s proved his worth yet again.

“It was three chances and three goals. That’s clinical and ruthless, which is what we always ask our strikers to be but nobody does it quite like Joe.

“He’s the Club’s record goalscorer and now has the record for hat-tricks. I’m sure his missus is sick of seeing him coming home with yet another matchball because the shed out the back’s probably full of them by this stage.

“He was brilliant for us and, much as we all played really well in the second-half, I thought Joe played to a really high standard thrioughout.”

Cliftonville’s afternoon got off to a poor start when Greg Moorhouse nodded the Ports in front but, thanks to Gormley’s contribution, the outcome was never in doubt even before Ronan Hale’s injury-time conversion wrapped things up.

“Portadown started really well and you could see them playing with confidence after their last couple of results,” added McLaughlin.

“We’ve conceded a goal from a corner which isn’t something we’ve done for a long time but we responded well and created a good number of chances before the equaliser. We had 13 shots on target during the game so we kept their keeper busy and I don’t think anyone could argue we didn’t deserve the win in the end.”

Though pleased with the eventual outcome, McLaughlin was less than impressed with referee Tim Marshall’s decision to sanction Kris Lowe for diving in the penalty area when he was clearly tripped by Barney McKeown – and hopes the booking doesn’t prove costly in the long run.

“Everybody makes mistakes in all walks of life every day,” he added.

“Referees are no different to the rest of us and you’d like to think that if he saw it back, Tim would admit he’s got that one wrong.

“These things happen and it’s a part of football but the biggest thing for us now is that Kris Lowe has a yellow card against his name which could contribute to him being suspended at some point.”