Cliftonville Ladies returned to the top of the Danske Bank Women’s Premiership - for 48 hours at least - after edging out Crusaders Strikers in Wednesday night’s North Belfast derby.
Marissa Callaghan netted a double for the hosts at Solitude - the second of which was from the penalty spot - to secure a win for John McGrady’s side, who had Megan Weatherall sent-off late on - the first red card of the league season.
Amy McGivern had drawn the Strikers level in the second half but it was not enough to stop the Reds winning all four matches between the sides this campaign.
The visitors could have taken an early lead after two minutes when an Emily Wilson Cross found Caitlyn Hamilton but her attempt was blocked by Reds captain Megan Moran.
Callaghan soon headed home the opener from Yasmin White’s cross as the Reds took control of the game but the Crues weathered the storm and equalised just before the hour mark as McGivern headed home from a Danielle McDowell free-kick.
Callaghan restored the Reds lead after White was felled in the penalty area and whilst Weatherall was shown a second yellow late on, the hosts held on for a vital three points.
Cliftonville Ladies: Norney, White, Burrows, Moran, Morgan, McDaniel, C. McGuinness, K. McGuinness, Davis, Callaghan, Weatherall subs McKimm (replaced C. McGuinness 81), Caldwell (not used), McConnell (not used), McHenry (not used), Montgomery (replaced White 83)