Conor McMenamin and Shane Grimes battle for possession (©INPHO/Stephen Hamilton)
Tuesday, 13 February 2018
The Reds raced into a two-goal lead inside the first ten minutes to set them up for victory over Warrenpoint Town.
Jay Donnelly opened the scoring with a low drive from the edge of the area before, sixty seconds later, Conor McDonald made the most of some poor defending to slot the ball into the bottom corner.
'Point pulled one back on 21 minutes when TJ Murray knocked the ball forward for Martin Murray to lob it over Brian Neeson at the near post.
Sean Mackle might then have levelled only for his speculative, dipping effort to be tipped over by the visiting 'keeper.
Cliftonville restored their two-goal lead six minutes from the break when the ball reached Joe Gormley on the edge of the box and he duly beat Johnny Parr in off an upright.
Mackle went close again in the second half, forcing Neeson to make a low diving save to keep out his low effort.
Gormley was denied his second of the evening by the legs of Parr after Danny Wallace was caught flat footed in defence.
TJ Murray twice came close for 'Point towards the end but he couldn't find a way past Neeson.
Warrenpoint Town: Parr, Foster, Moan, Dane, Mackle, M. Murray, McMenamin, Davidson, T.J. Murray, Wallace, Hughes subs O'Sullivan (replaced Hughes 46), Roohi (replaced Davidson 19), McGrandles (replaced Murray 53), Türker (not used), Fox (not used)
Cliftonville: Neeson, Breen, Curran, Harkin, Bagnall, Gormley, J. Donnelly, Cosgrove, A. Donnelly, Grimes, McDonald subs Dunne (not used), McGovern (not used), Ives (not used), Winchester (replaced Harkin 61), Lavery (replaced Curran 64)
Referee: Arnold Hunter