IRISH CUP: Cliftonville manager Gerard Lyttle taking nothing for granted following sixth round draw

James Knowles is all smiles after scoring
James Knowles is all smiles after scoring

Gerard Lyttle says Cliftonville will not take anything for granted come Irish Cup sixth round day.

The Reds overcame Amateur League outfit Immaculata at Solitude on Saturday and were handed a favourable tie against Sport & Leisure Swifts in the next phase, but Lyttle believes his troops will have to work for everything they get in the less than salubrious surrounds of Glen Road Heights.

“We know what we’re going to get in that game,” said Lyttle.

“Packie McAllister will have them well drilled and organised. They’ll have nothing to lose and we’ll need to go with a professional attitude or run the risk of an upset.

“Any time you play a team in the Cup, they’ve reached that stage on merit so you can’t take them lightly.”

Cliftonville stood accused of poor sportsmanship when James Knowles broke the deadlock 19 minutes after the interval.

The visitors claimed they had been expecting possession to be returned to them after Billy McGovern had undergone treatment on the pitch, but the Reds pushed forward and Knowles’ attempt took a nasty deflection of Tony Heagney and looped over goalkeeper Gerard Smith.

“I’m not sure what happened there,” added Lyttle. “Nobody was quite sure if their player had put it out because he was injured or if he injured himself when he kicked it. I don’t think Immaculata’s bench really understood what had happened but, to be honest.”

Chris Curran put the seal on things with a neat touch and finish but, despite seeing his side eliminated, Mac boss Kevin Lawlor was proud as punch.

“I don’t like losing any game but we were up against the cream of Irish League football out there,” he said. “My players gave it absolutely everything.We came here to win but we’ll take lessons from it.”