Cliftonville maintained their 100% start to the season by negotiating a tricky path past Harland & Wolff Welders 3-0 at Solitude on Monday night.
Like the Reds, their opponents entered the contest boasting wins from every domestic outing so far this term and they almost got off to a dream start when Stephen Garrett - not to be confused with his absent Solitude namesake - forcing a smart early stop from Conor Devlin.
At the other end, former Glentoran starlet Martin Murray came close to a debut goal when he was played through by Liam Boyce, but shot straight at Lee Windrum.
Cliftonville - who made five changes to the side which overcame Warrenpoint Town in the Premiership 48 hours earlier - had flattered to deceive in the first-half but stepped things up a gear after the interval and finally made the breakthrough when Liam Boyce’s attempt at a 54th minute exchange of passes with Marc Smyth was interrupted by Philip Simpson’s hand.
Referee Keith Kennedy pointed to the spot and Gormley stepped up to send Windrum the wrong way.
The former Ards Rangers and Distillery shot-stopper was beaten again shortly afterwards but this time it was an awkward deflection and bounce from a Boyce shot that proved his undoing, leaving Gormley with the simple task of tapping home.
The loudest cheer of the night was reserved for the 80th minute, however, when Ciaran Caldwell’s looping cross wasn’t properly cleared and youngster Johnny McMurray - making his first Solitude appearance for the Reds - reacted quickest to smash the ball into the roof of the net and put the seal on the holders’ safe passage through to round three.