Davy McDaid revelling in stellar start for champions Cliftonville

Davy McDaid takes on the Institute defence
Davy McDaid takes on the Institute defence

Davy McDaid not only opened his scoring account at Drumahoe on Saturday, he also opted to take a last gasp free-kick with speed against Institute to fashion Cliftonville’s dramatic winning goal in the 91st minute.

And having also set up the winning goal against Portadown on his debut, the 22-year-old hitman feels things are moving along nicely.

“I’m delighted to score my first goal for the club as I feel that’s taken a bit of pressure off my shoulders and to provide another assist for the winner, made it a good day for me personally,” he smiled.

“I was brought in to play up front, to score goals and help others score goals and I’m loving it. It’s been a great few days for me.”

And while he agreed that it was frustrating for Institute to lose the game at the death, he felt the Drumahoe club would surprise a few teams this year, particularly when playing at the Riverside Stadium.

“Institute will shock a few teams this season, I’ve no doubt that,” he insiste

“As they showed against us, they passed the ball really well and their movement and enthusiasm will cause other teams no shortage of problems.

“I think teams will get a shock and find it difficult when travelling to play in the Riverside Stadium and credit for that goes down to the club’s coaching staff.”

And while McDaid’s new boss agreed that the Reds had been fortunate to win the game, Tommy Breslin was not going to complain about winning when not playing to the best of his side’s ability.

He said: “I don’t think we deserved to win it. I felt we were a bit sluggish in the first half. We may have scored early on, but then we stopped playing and we failed to manage the game properly.

“We gave them too much space to play and while we did create other scoring chances we failed to take advantage,” added Breslin.

“I felt we were a big tighter in the second half and, to be fair, it looked as if the game was going to fizzle out to a draw, so I was delighted to get the win in the end.”

“We believed it would be a game in which we would have to grind out a result and that’s what we had to do. That said, to get three points in Drumahoe while not being at out best, is a very good sign.”

McDaid broke the deadlock after just two minutes before Institute equalised through Declan McKeever in the ninth minute.

Chris Curran put the champions back into the driving seat in the 16th minute but back bounced the home lot in the 28th minute when Stephen Curry smashed the ball home to level matters.

However, Cliftonville had the final say in the first minute of added time when McDaid’s quick free sent substitute, Stephen Garrett sprinting clear and he gave keeper, Doherty, no chance with a quality finish.