Joe Gormley shields the ball from Howard Beverland (©INPHO/Stephen Hamilton)
Saturday, 10 March 2018
Cliftonville raced into an early three goal lead to inflict a second successive derby defeat upon near neighbours Crusaders at Solitude.
Joe Gormley needed just six minutes to open the scoring after a Jaimie McGovern throw-in landed perfectly for him to turn the ball past Brian Jensen.
Then, around sixty seconds later, he turned provider by playing through the telling ball for Rory Donnelly to make it 2-0.
Cliftonville's blistering start continued with just over a quarter-of-an-hour gone when Jensen kicked out at Jamie Harney and, from the resultant spot-kick, Gormley duly knocked home his second of the game.
The Crues might have reduced the arrears in the first half only for Paul Heatley to smash the ball against the crossbar after Jordan Owens had knocked on Jordan Forsythe's throw-in.
And Heatley threatened again with a ball across the face of goal but it was a little too fast for Owens to meet.
After the break Darren Murray had a great chance in front of goal but Brian Neeson was able to touch it over.
Gormley had an opportunity for his hat-trick after Chris Curran played him through but the end product flashed past the far post.
Owens had a chance, climbing to meet a free-kick but again Neeson got a crucial touch ... but Owens eventually found the net with three minutes left after beating the offside trap to knock home a consolation from point blank range.
Cliftonville: Neeson, McGovern, Breen, Harney, Curran, Garrett, Bagnall, Gormley, Grimes, McDonald, R. Donnelly subs Dunne (not used), Ives (replaced Curran 87), Harkin (not used), J. Donnelly (replaced Gormley 74), Cosgrove (not used)
Crusaders: Jensen, Burns, Beverland, Coates, Lowry, Ward, Caddell, Forsythe, Owens, Heatley, Whyte subs Murray (replaced Forsythe 46), O'Neill (not used), Cushley (replaced Burns 75), Glackin (not used), Snoddy (replaced Lowry 55)
Referee: Keith Kennedy
|Liam Bagnall||45 +2|
|Stephen Garrett||90 +4|
|Billy Joe Burns||75|