EUROPA LEAGUE: Ross Lavery scores valuable away goal for Cliftonville

Differdingen  v Cliftonville
Differdingen v Cliftonville

Cliftonville teenager Ross Lavery wrote himself into the club’s history books with an invaluable 89th-minute goal in Luxembourg.

The late equaliser handed the Reds a 1-1 draw with Differdange in the first leg of their Europa League qualifier.

Gerard Lyttle’s men will now be favourites to reach the next stage of the competition, with Differdange visiting Solitude for the second leg.

The home side’s first half half lead was wiped out by Lavery’s late header, handing Cliftonville a draw an invaluable 1-1 draw, ahead of next Thursday’s (July 7) second leg at Solitude.

The 19-year-old left-winger is tipped as a star of the future, after impressing for Cliftonville Olympic last season.

The Reds went behind in the 38th minute, after a period of pressure from the home side. Differdange midfielder Pedro Riberio whipped a cross in from the right flank that deflected off Cliftonville new boy Jason McGuinness, landing at the feet of Omar Er Rafik. The Moroccan-born centre-forward made no mistake from close range, firing past another Reds’ debutant, goalkeeper Jason Mooney.

In the second half, Cliftonville pushed forward in search of an equaliser, with manager Gerard Lyttle bringing David McDaid, Darren Murray and young Ross Lavery in search of a vital away goal.

The travelling Red Army had to wait until the 89th minute for that equaliser. With time running out, Jay Donnelly whipped in a superb cross into a crowd penalty box that was headed home by teenage substitute Ross Lavery.

Differdange: Weber, Rodrigies, Siebenaler (Bukvic 71), May, Ribeiro (Sinani 76), Raflik, Yeye (Lascak 81), Vandenbroek, Janisch, Franzoni, Luisi

Subs Not Used: Schaab, Bastos, Caron, Bettmer

Cliftonville: Mooney, Ives, Bonner, McGuinness, Curran (D. Murray 85), Knowles, M. Donnelly (Lavery 67), Hughes (McDaid 56), Catney, Winchester, J. Donnelly

Subs Not Used: Burke, Garrett, M. Murray, Cosgrove.

Ref: Ignasi Villamayor Rozados (Andorra)