CLIFTONVILLE 6 ARDS RANGERS 0
Davy McDaid will miss Tuesday’s County Antrim Shield Final after being sent off in Cliftonville’s 6-0 defeat of Ards Rangers at Solitude.
The striker had already contributed a goal and two assists before getting involved in a scrap which also saw visiting midfielder Steven Hislop dismissed - a huge blot on an otherwise encouraging day for the Reds.
“That’s the big disappointment for us,” said assistant manager Peter Murray.
“Davy has been accused of a headbutt and we’ll have a look at the footage to see what happened and, as a senior player, he will have to face the consequences of that.
“Obviously he’ll miss Tuesday and it could end up being a six-game ban which would be a huge setback for us, especially with so many players out injured as it is.
“That said, it could provide an opportunity for someone else and we’ll just have to get on with it.”
In an eye-catching opening minute, visiting keeper David Ferguson stopped Jay Donnelly from giving the Reds an instant advantage before Hislop almost netted with an outrageous chipped effort which clipped the top of the crossbar.
The deadlock was broken on 12 minutes when McDaid provided yet another assist for Joe Gormley to thunder home and, three minutes before the interval, the former Coleraine ace once again played the telling pass as Donnelly doubled Cliftonville’s lead.
McDaid made it 3-0 early in the second period and Gormley added the fourth before a melee in front of the dugouts ended with McDaid and Hislop leaving proceedings early.
Martin Murray came off the bench to make it 5-0 and Donnelly capped a fine individual display with the final strike in injury-time as the Reds made safe progress to a sixth round joust with Ballymena United.