Cliftonville ease to victory to remain nine points clear at the top

Cliftonville's Martin Donnell in action with Dungannon's Ryan ONeill
Cliftonville's Martin Donnell in action with Dungannon's Ryan ONeill


Cliftonville failed to hit the heights but still proved too strong for Dungannon Swifts at Solitude.

A 2-0 win helped the Reds retain their nine-point lead at the top of the Danske Bank Premiership.

Liam Boyce bagged the opener in the first half before George McMullan converted a 53rd-minute penalty to wrap up the points.

Cliftonville enjoyed plenty of possession but were frustrated by a resilient Dungannon defence during most of the opening half.

The breakthrough finally came in the 35th minute with Boyce once again on target for the Reds.

Jody Lynch delivered the pinpoint corner for the unmarked Boyce to head home from eight yards.

The Reds were home and hosed in the 53rd minute with captain McMullan doubling their advantage.

Stephen Garrett was brought down inside the box by Francis Brennan, and McMullan stepped up to send Swifts goalkeeper Niall Morgan the wrong way.

Next up for Cliftonville is a trip to champions Linfield on New Year’s Day.

CLIFTONVILLE: Devlin, McGovern, Johnston, McMullan, Garrett, Seydak, Smyth, Catney (Donnelly 62), Gormley (O’Carroll 69), Lynch, Boyce (Cosgrove 82).

Subs not used: Scannell, O’Kane.

DUNGANNON: Morgan, O’Neill, Grieve, Montgomery, Friars, Brennan, Topley, Hutchinson (Harpur 69), S. Lavery (O’Neill 86), C. Lavery, McKerr (PJ Lavery 46).

Subs not used: Hazley, Fitzpatrick.

Referee: Ross Dunlop