Cliftonville extend their lead as Larne and Glentoran draw

Cliftonville extended their lead at the top of the Danske Bank Premiership as they eased to a 4-0 win at home to Portadown.

By Steven Crawford
Tuesday, 2nd November 2021, 11:13 pm
Updated Tuesday, 2nd November 2021, 11:14 pm

The Reds didn’t take long to edge in front at Solitude as Joe Gormley got on the end of a Jamie McDonagh cross to head his side 1-0 up on five minutes.

Portadown almost responded straight away as a Lee Bonis effort had to be beat away by Declan Dunne.

It was the Reds who scored again but there was a slice of luck involved as Gormley’s cross was turned into his own net by Paul Finnegan, for the defender’s second own goal in as many games.

Joe Gormley celebrates after firing Cliftonville in front

It got even better for the hosts as Gormley latched on to a misplaced clearance before slotting past Jethren Barr.

Cliftonville were on easy street when Ryan Curran fired home from the spot after Greg Hall had upended Gormley to seal another win for Paddy McLaughlin’s men.

Larne and Glentoran had to make do with a share of the spoils as they played out a 1-1 draw at Inver Park.

Hrvoje Plum almost caught Rohan Ferguson out with an early corner.

Former Glens man John Herron then headed wide from a Lee Lynch cross before Ben Doherty let fly from distance in what was a lively opening.

Robbie McDaid and Graham Kelly both tried their luck from distance as the first half ended goalless.

The deadlock was finally broken three minutes into the second half as Herron rose highest to head home Doherty’s free kick.

Ronan Hale then had a pop from 25 yards but it dipped to late to trouble Ross Glendinning.

Both sides had appeals for a penalty turned down as Jay Donnelly tussled with Fuad Sule and Jeff Hughes, while at the other end ale went down under a challenge.

With 19 minutes left to play the visitors drew level as Donnelly produced a great finish to fire home after a bit of pinball on the edge of the box.

The Glens pushed for a late winner as both Billy Burns and Ben Cushnie found the side netting in the dying minutes but in the end both sides had to settle for a point.