UK news Paddy McLaughlin salutes Cliftonville's efforts as Ryan Curran stages late show to down Glentoran for opening win last news
MetiNews.Com - Paddy McLaughlin saluted Cliftonville's heart after Ryan Curran's late strike earned three opening day points against Glentoran.
Breaking News ! "Paddy McLaughlin saluted Cliftonville's heart after Ryan Curran's late strike earned three opening day points against Glentoran. It had been the proverbial game of two halves at Solitude, where the visitors enjoyed an encouraging opening 45 minutes before finding themselves increasingly under the cosh after the interval, with the dismissal of substitute Cameron Stewart handing the Reds a numerical advantage they would go on to make the most of.In one of the few moments of quality in a scrappy encounter, the hosts appeared to be on the verge of fashioning an opening on the edge of the Glens' box but, just when the move seemed to have broken down, a combination of Chris Curran and Thomas Maguire worked hard to nick possession off Dale Gorman and, when Joe Gormley slipped Ryan Curran through, he made no mistake in coolly slotting beyond the man mountain that is Dayle Coleing."I couldn't have asked for much more from the players, they were superb throughout the game," beamed McLaughlin afterwards."When the fixtures first came out, we knew with the squad Glentoran have assembled - one that's surely going to be a title contender - that this was going to be a really difficult game for us to get started but the boys responded brilliantly."They defended brilliantly, they battled in the middle of the park, where it was a bit scrappy, but sometimes you have to roll your sleeves up and dig it out."Both sides entered into yesterday's game on the back of contrasting summer breaks.While much has been made of big-spending Glentoran's raft of signings, the Reds' only new recruit was Ryan O'Reilly from Ballinamallard United alongside the return of midfielder Mark McKee - a situation with which McLaughlin insists he's more than satisfied."We already had a good side that developed over the course of last year and we've kept them all on board and added Ryan O'Reilly, who has been a brilliant addition for us," he explained.
."Our squad is thin but one thing it has got is a lot of quality."A first half littered with free-kicks threatened to come to life in the closing minutes when the Glens - whose grip on the game had been growing - almost took the lead with a fizzing Bobby Burns volley that was headed to safety by Garry Breen.Cliftonville had lacked cohesion going forward but there were promising signs of better things to come when the Currans linked up just before the hour; skipper Chris feeding Ryan, who was unable to get enough purchase on his effort to trouble Coleing.Soon after, the same pair were involved in getting the ball in the net but, after Chris had teed up Conor McMenamin for a shot that crept past the keeper, Ryan was judged to be offside when he applied the finish from close range.Levi Ives then flashed a blistering strike just wide of the post before the Reds appealed in vain for a penalty when Chris Curran hit the deck under the attentions of Marcus Kane.With 10 minutes to play, the Glens mustered their first real attempt on target when Gorman rifled in a free-kick with all the ferocity associated with his dad Tony's set-piece prowess but, after Richard Brush got down to repel that effort, Stewart headed his follow-up off target.Within 60 seconds, Stewart's afternoon had grown decidedly worse when, just 19 minutes after being sprung from the bench, his high challenge on Aaron Donnelly earned a second booking to leave his side down to 10 men - and fellow sub Gorman didn't fare much better when his loss of possession on the edge of the area not only led to Cliftonville claiming the game's only goal but also saw him hooked by manager Mick McDermott.Former Reds striker Jay Donnelly was thrown on in an attempt to salvage a late rescue act but, with McLaughlin likewise making use of his subs to throw Jamie Harney into the hosts' well-drilled backline, Glentoran were afforded very little opportunity to plunder a last-gasp equaliser."
Source = MetiNews.Com