DOHERTY SENDS REDS BACK TO THE TOP
Cliftonville moved back to the top of the Danske Bank Premiership following a narrow defeat of Linfield at Solitude.
The sides traded half chances during the opening exchanges with Daniel Finlayson seeing an effort blocked while, for the Reds, Ronan Hale tried his luck from distance.
What proved to be the only goal of the game arrived after just 12 minutes when a perfectly weighted pass from Hale reached Ronan Doherty - celebrating his 27th birthday - who ran onto the ball and fired beyond Chris Johns into the opposite corner.
Jonny Addis might added a second soon after only to fail to find the target from close range.
The Blues came closest to levelling in the final few minutes of the first half when Finlayson saw his left-footed curling effort just go the wrong side of the near post.
Linfield applied considerable pressure after the break in pursuit of the equaliser.
Joel Cooper flashed an effort across the face of goal which Nathan Gartside did well to palm away, with Cooper again testing the Reds keeper from close range not long after that while Levi Ives made a goalline clearance to deny Finlayson.
Further opportunities came via Cooper from close range, and then from a volley, but Gartside proved equal to both as the Reds held on to claim the points.
Cliftonville: Gartside, Ives, Addis, Gallagher, Rory Hale, Lowe, R. Doherty, Gormley, Turner, Ronan Hale, Moore subs G. Doherty, C. Curran, R. Curran, McDonagh, Robinson, Casey, Coates
Linfield: Johns, Roscoe, Newberry, Shields, Cooper, McDaid, M. Clarke, Finlayson, Mulgrew, Vertainen, Palmer subs Walsh, McClean, Stewart, McKee, Devine, Pepper, A. Clarke