Conor McMenamin turns to celebrate scoring for Cliftonville (©INPHO/Declan Roughan)
Saturday, 12 January 2019
Cliftonville ended their five match losing streak with a comprehensive victory over Ards at Solitude.
Ryan Curran opened the scoring for the Reds on 31 minutes with a curling effort past Sam Johnston into the corner in off the bottom of the post.
Ards might have levelled a few minutes later when Gareth Tommons headed wide from Daryl Evans' cross but they did equalise just before the break when Darren Henderson converted from the spot after Kym Nelson had been fouled in the area.
Cliftonville had a penalty of their own early in the second half after Ross Lavery was upended by Calum Byers but not only did Joe Gormley failed to beat Johnston he also saw his rebound saved by the Ards keeper.
The Reds did edge back in front again on 63 minutes through Conor McMenamin after he cut inside Adam McAleenan to fire into the top corner from a tight angle.
Then, on 70 minutes, Rory Donnelly made it 3-1 after showing great skill to get past the Ards defence before sending a right-foot effort beyond Johnston.
Gormley redeemed himself for his earlier penalty miss by completing the scoring with ten minutes to go with a composed lob over Johnston after being played into position by Donnelly.
Cliftonville: Brush, Harney, C. Curran, Harkin, R. Curran, R. Donnelly, Bagnall, Gormley, Lavery, McMenamin, Gorman subs McKenna (not used), McGovern (not used), Breen (not used), Garrett (replaced McMenamin 79), Catney (replaced Bagnall 75), McConnell (replaced Harkin 83), Maguire (not used)
Ards: Johnston, E. McAllister, Byers, Cherry, Tommons, McClean, Nelson, McAleenan, Evans, Smith, Henderson subs Davidson (not used), Kerr (not used), M. Kelly (replaced Henderson 75), McLellan (not used), D. McAllister (replaced E. McAllister 71), Bennett (replaced Cherry 71), McCawl (not used)
Referee: Arnold Hunter