WILSON AT THE DOUBLE FOR REDS
Ben Wilson bagged both goals as Cliftonville defeated bottom of the table Ballymena United at The Showgrounds.
The sides traded chances during the opening exchanges with Sean Stewart sending the ball wide from an short corner while, for United, Fraser Taylor curled an effort over the bar.
Wilson then attempted to lob Sean O'Neill after getting on the end of a quickly taken Jonny Addis free-kick but the home keeper was alert to the threat.
But the Reds weren't to be denied on 19 minutes after Rory Hale won the ball in the middle of the park before laying it off for Wilson to send a low shot past O'Neill from the right side of the area.
Cliftonville might have doubled their advantage midway through the first half after Sam Ashford released Wilson but O'Neill did well to save with his legs.
At the other end Taylor was denied only by an Odhran Casey block but Cliftonville could have added a second soon after but Ashford volleyed wide after almost making the most of a static home defence.
The Reds came close to adding a second not long after the restart after Wilson cut in from the right to send the ball past O'Neill but Colin Coates was able to make a goalline clearance.
Ballymena were presented with a great chance midway through the second half after Isaac Westerndorf burst clear but was foiled by a superb tackle by Chris Gallagher.
However Cliftonville did grab their second with around a quarter-of-an-hour remaining when he beat Coates to a Hale through ball to double his tally for the afternoon.
Ballymena United: O’Neill, Nelson, Whiteside, Coates, Gawne, McCullough, McGuigan, Taylor, McGrory, Boyle, Westendorf subs Johnston, Burns, O’Boyle, Walsh, Tennant, McMurray, Place
Cliftonville: Odumosu, Stewart, Addis, Gallagher, Hale, Lowe, Doherty, Ashford, Casey, Turner, Wilson subs Gartside, Pepper, Kenny, Curran, Gormley, Kearney, Berry