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Control tower

Jim Magilton was thrilled with Cliftonville’s control of yesterday’s North Belfast Derby.

The Reds defeated Crusaders 3-0 for the second time this season, with Joe Gormley, Rory Hale and Ben Wilson on target during a commanding display at Solitude.

“It’s obviously a great result but I’m just as pleased with how we managed the game,” said Magilton.

“We limited a very good Crusaders side to very few chances and we’re absolutely delighted with the performance, another clean sheet and three goals.

“I thought the intensity in our play was great. We reacted quickly when we didn’t have the ball and looked really dangerous when we did have it.

“We played the game with the courage required and scored goals of real quality at very good times.”

The Manager also revealed that Wilson emerged from his sick bed to play in the game, while expressing his delight with opening scorer Gormley’s contribution, adding: “Ben has been ill all week and only trained for a limited time on Thursday night, so our mind was made up by that – but I had a hunch about Joe. He always saves one or two moments for these types of games and I thought he would make an impact, which he did.

“Ronan Hale made a massive impact too and at the start of the season, we didn’t have the luxury of bringing people off the bench – and that’s not being disrespectful to those who were on the bench – but to have Sam Ashford and Ben sitting there ready and chomping at the bit is huge for us and, again, we felt it was the right time to put them into the game because they have pace, they play on shoulders and they’re dangerous. They’ve come on and worked their socks off.”