Cliftonville’s Donnelly loves ‘record breakers’ tag

Cliftonville's Martin Donnelly celebrates
Cliftonville's Martin Donnelly celebrates
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Goal hero Martin Donnelly insisted the tag of record-breakers will sit easily on his shoulders!

The Cliftonville winger, whose first half goal against Ards ignited an enormous party on Saturday night, insists there is more to come from this talented Reds side.

He supported the club as a boy and was bursting with pride when the JBE League Cup medal was draped around his neck for the fourth successive year.

“Being a little part of a record breaking feat makes that bit special,” said Donnelly.

“Before I came to the club everyone knew I was a Cliftonville supporter.

“To to play for the Reds is unbelievable, but to make history by winning the League Cup four times in a row is really unbelievable.

“It probably put a bit of extra pressure on us, but we handled it well.

“The trophies the lads have won over the years is incredible . . . and it is just great to get another one in the bag.

“I was lucky enough to score in last season’s final against Ballymena, but this was different. The first goal is always vital in any game.

“Ards were well in the game so it was important to get the opening goal and once we scored the second, there was only going to be one winner.

“Winning is a habit and the trophies we’ve won over the past few years is no mistake. It’s great to keep winning.”

Reds boss Gerard Lyttle hailed the contribution of Donnelly, who tortured the Ards defence all evening.

“The boys tease him about his pace, about him being slow,” laughed Lyttle. “But he has more pace in his head than anyone that I know.

“Marty went through a wee spell and lost his place when a few new signings came in.

“But he has upped his game again and when he plays like that he is on a different level. His goal was a bit off class.

“I thought he gave the left back (Thomas Lamb) a horrible night and that is not being disrespectful.

“When Marty is on his game, he is unplayable.

“It gives the rest of the boys around him a lift. People question why Marty plays on the right but the reason is because Marty and Tomas Cosgrove have a fantastic understanding.”