Joe Gormley celebrates scoring the only goal of the game (©INPHO/Brian Little)
Saturday, 09 March 2019
A Joe Gormley strike early in the second half helped Cliftonville defeat Institute at Solitude as new Reds boss Paddy McLaughlin came up against his former club for the first time.
The Reds enjoyed much of the early pressure without really threatening in front of goal with, indeed, the first effort of note not arriving until the 20th minute when Rory Donnelly volleyed over after receiving a cross from Conor McMenamin.
Further pressure followed with Aaron Harkin finding Gormley but despite controlling the ball he could only fire over while, towards the end of the first half, Jamie Harney saw a header punched away by Martin Gallagher.
What proved to be the only goal of the game came four minutes after the interval when Donnelly laid the ball off for Gormley to curl the ball past Gallagher from inside the area.
'Stute attempted to hit back with Aaron Jarvis having an effort charged down by Harney but despite making the home defence work harder there was still little end product.
And Cliftonville almost doubled their advantage towards the end when Chris Curran chipped a cross over from the right for Harkin but Gallagher was on hand to tip the ball onto an upright.
Yet the visitors might still have snatched a point only for Richard Brush to thwart Joe McCready when the 'Stute man found himself with time and space in the box.
Cliftonville: Brush, Breen, Harney, C. Curran, R. Curran, R. Donnelly, A. Harkin, Bagnall, Gormley, McMenamin, Gorman subs Neeson (not used), Ives (not used), Grace (replaced R. Curran 70), Catney (replaced Gormley 89), McConnell (not used), Maguire (not used), A. Donnelly (not used)
Institute: Gallagher, R. Morrow, McLaughlin, D. Curry, Dunne, S. Curry, J. Morrow, Jarvis, McIntyre, Wilson, McCready subs Kelly (not used), Bonner (not used), Moorehead (replaced McIntyre 75), Scoltock (not used), Brown (not used), Smith (replaced S. Curry 81), Leppard (not used)
Referee: Shane Andrews