Marissa Callaghan (12)
Marissa Callaghan (67)

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(©AMMG Sports/Chris Scott)

MARISSA DOUBLE SINKS CANDYSTRIPES

Cliftonville Ladies strengthened their grip on a top four spot as they ran out two-goal victors at the Ryan McBride Brandywell Stadium against a struggling Derry City.

The Candystripes have just one point and one goal from their opening nine league games and were without a raft of first-team players for the visit of the Reds.

Northern Ireland captain Marissa Callaghan was again the star for the North Belfast side, netting both goals either side of the break in the victory.

The Reds opened the scoring in the 12th minute after a succession of corners - Callaghan made the most of space on the left and her shot was too hot to handle.

Derry did show some promise as the half progressed and Kate Patton was starting to find space in behind the Cliftonville back line.

However, the Reds held firm and midway through the second half Callaghan grabbed her second - her left-footed effort flying past Derry goalkeeper Molly McBride.

Callaghan pushed for a hat-trick but the North Belfast side had to settle for a two-goal victory.

Derry City: McBride, J. Doherty, McMullan, O'Neill, Lapsley, Dunne, Patton, McDaid, McIntosh, McLaughlin, Graydon subs Donaghey (replaced McLaughlin 69), Coll (not used), Callaghan (replaced Graydon 48), Barr (not used)

Cliftonville Ladies: C. Callaghan, Moran, Finnegan, Canavan, Orr, McConnell, M. Callaghan, Connolly, Grieve, Weatherall, McVarnock subs McEvoy (replaced Grieve 77), Da Silva (not used), Devine (replaced Connolly 60), McNeill (replaced Canavan 77)

Referee: Kyle Barr

Attendance: 10