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Professional help

Paddy McLaughlin saluted the “professional job” Cliftonville produced in last night’s Danske Bank Premiership victory over Portadown.

Though Ronan Hale’s eye-catching strike ensured a half-time lead, McLaughlin felt Sean Moore’s emergence from the bench was critical to the team stepping things up after the interval, when Jonny Addis doubled the advantage before Hale’s overhead kick wrapped up the scoring.

“I thought the first-half was a bit flat,” said McLaughlin.

“I know we were winning 1-0 and controlled large parts of it, but I just felt it was a bit flat and the introduction of Sean Moore at half-time made a huge impact on the game. He showed his quality and his class in the second-half and it gave us that edge and quality going forward.

“All the boys were better in the second-half but I think the introduction of Sean Moore definitely gave us that quality and class we were lacking in the first-half.”

Both goals after the break came courtesy of deliveries from Jamie McDonagh, whose corner kick was glanced in by Addis before Hale capped things with some close-range acrobatics.

“That’s Jamie McDonagh’s first start in a few weeks and he’s sitting with two assists so if we can get him back to his best, it would be brilliant timing for him to hit top form and he’s got himself off to a good start tonight,” added McLaughlin.

“Ronan’s goals were two fantastic finishes but, like I said, in the second-half, we moved the ball a lot better, quicker and created a few other chances as well.

“It was a professional job that got us three points with a clean sheet and that’s what we’re here for.”