Stephen Moan and Liam Boyce contest a header at Stangmore Park (Picture: Darren Kidd/PressEye.com)
Saturday, 15 March 2014
A GOAL at the end of each half helped Cliftonville to a workmanlike victory over Warrenpoint Town at Stangmore Park.
After a fairly quiet opening Liam Boyce created the first opportunity on 13 minutes when his effort from 25 yards was spilled by Johnny Parr almost at Joe Gormley's feet only for the home 'keeper to gather at the second attempt.
Shaun Parr came close for 'Point later in the half when he forced Conor Devlin to dive a full stretch to keep out his 25-yard drive.
Boyce threatened again for the Reds after half-an-hour when he beat 'keeper Parr to the ball on the edge of the area before turning to chip a shot just wide of the unguarded goal.
Then, moments later, Martin Donnelly was inches away from breaking the deadlock when his snapshot came back off the post.
But Boyce eventually did find a way through with four minutes of the first half remaining when, from a Donnelly free-kick, his first effort was blocked before he slotted home the rebound.
Warrenpoint offered more after the break with Daniel Hughes testing Conor Devlin around the hour mark from the edge of the area.
However, Cliftonville's superiority was never in doubt and although Boyce and Gormley both came close that all important second goal eventually arrived in the 89th minute courtesy of a George McMullan spot-kick awarded after Michael Hughes was adjudged to have handled the ball.
Warrenpoint Town: J. Parr, King, Cowan, S. Parr, S. Hughes, D. Hughes, Bagnall, M. Hughes, Moan, Devlin, Smith subs G. McCabe (replaced Bagnall 79), Grant (not used), Kearns (replaced Smith 88), Havern (replaced Devlin 63), McMullan (not used)
Cliftonville: Devlin, McGovern, Johnston, McMullan, Donnelly, Seydak, Smyth, Catney, Gormley, Curran, Boyce subs R. Scannell (not used), O'Carroll (not used), Murray (replaced Donnelly 77), Doherty (replaced Curran 85), Winchester (replaced Gormley 85)
Referee: Raymond Hetherington