IRISH LEAGUE: Gerard Lyttle praises “different class” Cliftonville attack

Jude Winchester slides home Cliftonville's opening goal at Solitude against Portadown. Pic by PressEye Ltd.
Jude Winchester slides home Cliftonville's opening goal at Solitude against Portadown. Pic by PressEye Ltd.
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Cliftonville’s first-half firepower led to a 3-0 lead that effectively wrapped up full points at the break over basement-based Portadown.

Jay Donnelly set up Jude Winchester for the first goal then converted the second before a long-range drive by Chris Curran managed to squeeze past Chris McGaughey.

Additional chances arrived in the second half as Cliftonville extended the winning sequence against Portadown - and run of clean sheets - to 12.

“We set up in a real attacking formation,” said Cliftonville manager Gerard Lyttle. “We worked on our system during the week and were as good as I’ve seen all season from the boys in the first half.

“The rotation, attacking from the full-backs and movement of the guys up top was different class.

“We were not as ruthless in the second half but it was a good performance and clean sheet.

“I thought we were professional across the day and solid, with everyone tuned in.

“We have players coming out now with injuries and suspensions so it is about giving someone else an opportunity.”

Niall Currie expressed his post-match frustration at the errors central to the 3-0 reverse.

“What shocks me is how poor the goals are we have been conceding,” said the Ports boss. “We are gifting unacceptable goals that suck the life out of everything else.

“We carried six players today probably and the biggest plus was maybe getting minutes under Mark McAllister’s belt as it’s about sharpness now.

“Mark was one of our better players and Robbie Garrett was in his bed for two or three days but wanted to play so we’ve got guys like that fighting our corner.

“We need to come to places like this and be brave but we had no composure.”