Cliftonville’s Joe Gormley grabs hat-trick against Lisburn Distillery

HAT-TRICK HERO: Cliftonville's Joe Gormley
HAT-TRICK HERO: Cliftonville's Joe Gormley

Cliftonville boss Tommy Breslin was pleased to see his side maintain their Premiership advantage with victory over Lisburn Distillery – but his only complaint was that his side couldn’t add to their four-goal tally.

Joe Gormley left Solitude with the matchball after pouncing for strikes on 23, 50 and 67 minutes, while Stephen Garrett took his season’s total to nine with a strike late in the first-half.

Convincing as the win was, Garrett and Liam Boyce will each feel they, too, should have had had-tricks, while Diarmuid O’Carroll and Ryan Catney might have netted braces in addition to Tomas Cosgrove and George Mullan going oh so close – and all this after Barry Johnston had rattled the frame of the goal early on.

“We were good in the second half and should probably have scored more than we did, but the points are what’s important and we’re pleased to have got them,” said Breslin.

“We weren’t quite on top of things early on and, fair play to Distillery, they came out and took the game to us.

“They gave us a few things to think about but, once our touch and movement improved, we did very well.

“Plenty of chances came and went and we’ll need to be more clinical in future matches but you’re never going to have too many gripes with a 4-0 win.

“Joe (Gormley) and Liam (Boyce) now have 25 goals each this season and you’ll always do well with a strikeforce like that, but the whole team are contributing and this win keeps us rolling along to the next match.”

Opposite number Tim McCann, whose side remain four points adrift of Donegal Celtic at the bottom of the table, said: “Cliftonville are head and shoulders above everyone in this League but I thought we did well at times.

“Up until their first goal, I felt we were the better side but, as usual, it’s been a case of us getting punished for making simple mistakes which is frustrating because if we could just get ourselves a foothold in games, I believe we could do much better,” he added.