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Kevin Braniff (35)

1

Barry Johnston ( 9)
Martin Donnelly (17)

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Delighted Cliftonville manager Tommy Breslin at the final whistle (Picture: PressEye.com)

PORTADOWN 1-2 CLIFTONVILLE

CLIFTONVILLE raced into a two-goal lead inside the opening 20 minutes.

Barry Johnston drew first blood on nine minutes when he pounced on some poor defending to fire past David Miskelly.

The Ports really should have levelled six minutes later after Matt Tipton received the ball from Kevin Braniff literally a couple of yards in front of the goal only to inexplicably send it over the bar.

And, by way of punishment, Martin Donnelly added a second for the visitors on 17 minutes after Chris Scannell knocked a quickly taken free-kick into his path to score into the bottom corner.

However, Portadown did find the net on 35 minutes when Tipton redeemed himself for his earlier miss by taking the ball down the wing before crossing for Braniff to knock home.

Braniff almost doubled his tally in spectacular fashion on 65 minutes with a stunning 45-yard volley which just missed the target by inches.

Then, later in the half, Tipton did have the ball in the net after John Connolly had let a shot fall behind him only for referee Arnold Hunter to rule the 'goal' out offside.

Cliftonville finished the game with ten men after John Convery was shown a straight red card for deliberate handball seven minutes from time.

Referee:

Attendance: 757

Tags:  Cliftonville  Portadown