CLIFTONVILLE 4 INSTITUTE 0
Joe Gormley was once again the toast of Solitude with a hat-trick as Cliftonville breezed past Institute in a chilly north Belfast.
Young Jay Donnelly opened the scoring early on ahead of Gormley taking command after the break to help the Reds get back on track following last week’s defeat to Coleraine.
There were just two minutes on the clock when Gormley hooked just wide from an assist by goalkeeper Conor Devlin but the Reds didn’t have long to wait before making the breakthrough; Donnelly capping his first ever start with a firm finish into the bottom corner.
Gormley then rattled the crossbar from an acute angle ahead of Cormac Burke going close on no fewer than three separate occasions for Stute.
Opening scorer Donnelly was kept at bay by Martin Gallagher and Gormley should have made it 2-0 just before the break but, after striking the post with his first attempt, saw his follow-up roll harmlessly wide.
The striker made up for that after the interval, however, with three goals in 14 minutes – stroking home after a Davy McDaid assist, lashing in from a Ronan Scannell pass and getting on the end of a Tomas Cosgrove cross to secure the three points with his THIRD hat-trick in just eight matches.
CLIFTONVILLE: Devlin, McGovern, Scannell, Flynn, McDaid, M Donnelly, Catney, Winchester, Gormley, J Donnelly, Cosgrove. Subs: McMullan, Knowles (Winchester, 75 mins), Seydak (McDaid, 70 mins), Murray, Mulvenna (Flynn, 64 mins).
INSTITUTE: Gallagher, P McLaughlin, O’Donnell, D Curry, Crown, Walsh, Burke, S Curry, McVeigh, Hume, McKeever. Subs: Ferry, Scoltock, Toland (McKeever, 31 mins), Forker, Ronan Doherty (Hume, 64)
Referee: Raymond Hetherington (Dungannon)