CLIFTONVILLE 1 DUNGANNON SWIFTS 0
A first half own goal was enough for Cliftonville to see off Dungannon Swifts in a scrappy affair at Solitude on Saturday
Though Martin Donnelly wheeled away in celebration when the ball found the net after a goalmouth scramble, common consensus was that a visiting defender provided the telling touch – but no one was claiming responsibility.
Either way, the Reds were grateful for it as they maintained their winning streak and pulled to within five points of Crusaders, whose scheduled clash at Carrick Rangers fell victim to the weather.
Dungannon started the brighter of the teams but could fashion very little in the final third and, though Cliftonville grew into proceedings, they didn’t overly trouble goalkeeper Andy Coleman outside of a James Knowles effort which came back of the post.
The deadlock was broken in first-half injury-time, though, when some pinball inside the area ended with the ball in the net and Donnelly in celebratory mode.
After the break, Chris Curran saw a host of chances saved by Coleman before Paul McElrpy had an equaliser ruled out for offside.
The Reds survived a few jitters as the clock ticked down but, aside from a fierce Andy Mitchell drive straight at Conor Devlin, the Swifts were unable to create anything capable of salvaging a point.
CLIFTONVILLE: Devlin, Ives, Flynn, Knowles, Curran, McMullan, McDaid, Garrett, M Donnelly, Brennan, Cosgrove. Subs: Seydak (Ives, 90 mins), Murray (M Donnelly, 84 mins), McMurray (McDaid, 72 mins), Mooney, Henry.
DUNGANNON: Coleman, Lowe, Armstrong, Burns, McCaffrey, Harpur, Fitzpatrick, Teggart, Burke, McElroy, Mitchell. Subs: Addis, Glackin (Harpur, 56 mins), Mullan, Hazley (Fitzpatrick, 56 mins), O’Rourke (Lowe, 46 mins).
REFEREE: Ian McNabb (Newtownabbey)