• Michael Barritt

Belfast Reds overcome the Red and Blues….

Ards 1 Cliftonville 4

League Cup – 26/10/21

By Phillip Bartlett


NIFL ‘top vs top’ met in League Cup action at Clandeboye Park with Championship leaders Ards hosting current Premier League leaders Cliftonville with the winners to face either Portadown or Ballinamallard in the next round.


Both sides made several changes to the line-ups from their last league outings with Ards bringing in Carry to replace Bam in nets and starts for Calderwood, Ferrin and Glover. Cliftonville fielded a strong starting eleven with the likes of Hale, Curran, O’Neill and Addis starting, they even managed to find space on the bench for one Joe Gormley.


PICTURE COURTESY OF PRESS EYE


Cliftonville lived up to their current league position with a comfortable 4-1 win including some

excellent individual performances and clinical finishes in front of goal. There was plenty of

endeavour and effort from the Ards team as there always is, but they were up against a very clinical side who took their chances at every opportunity.

Ards started on the front foot and had a couple of early chances to test the Cliftonville keeper but being mindful of the threat of the opposition were disciplined in their shape and organisation. Out of possession Ards were tireless in their closing down of the opponent in a tough first half with Cliftonville making great use of the space moving the ball at speed. The deadlock was broken on 32’ with defender Addis’ header hitting the back of the net following a short corner played into the box. The half ended 0-1.


It was a fast start to the second half and there were jubilant scenes from the home fans as Glover netted an equaliser in the 2 nd minute of the half. Reynolds was sent tumbling and from the resulting freekick Ards were level. Cafolla stepped up to take the kick and rather than going for goal slid a perfectly weighted ball down the left to Glover whose first time shot flew past the keeper at the near post. A brilliantly worked routine that caught Cliftonville napping.

The joy was short lived as within 60 seconds Cliftonville were ahead again when Gallagher clipped a shot into the top corner from the edge of the Ards box, giving Carry in the Ards net no chance.


PICTURE COURTESY OF PRESS EYE


Cliftonville again showed their class by holding on to the ball well and limiting Ards to very few chances. The game was sealed with two more goals from Curran on 64’ and Gormley on 83’ who had replaced Hale on 63’.

Ards made a quadruple substitution on 71’ which saw a long-awaited return to play for DD

McAllister. Having been absent from the squad for close to 18 months due to injury, it was a

welcome sight for the home supporters. The subs nearly paid dividends with DD, Arthurs and Jallow linking up well to test the Cliftonville GK. DD’s well-judged cross into the box was controlled well by Arthurs who held it up and eventually laid it off to Jallow. Jallow’s shot was on target but comfortably saved by McNicholas in the Cliftonville net. DD found himself in space just outside the box, but his right foot effort was just over the bar.


PICTURE COURTESY OF PRESS EYE


There was some comic relief for the supporter’s courtesy of the referee when he could clearly be heard admonishing Ronan Hale after a disagreement in the middle of the pitch. Hale was clearly off the Pace and was substituted a few minutes later. Ards will have to regroup quickly as they host Newry this Friday evening in a huge game at the top of the NIFL Championship. Having lost to Newry already this season Ards will be looking to even things out and extend their lead at the top of the table. While the result did not go our way, the game will be remembered for a brilliant freekick routine that, for however briefly, gave Ards fans something cheer about.


Starting eleven:

Carry, Crane, Ferrin, O’Hare, Young, E McAllister, Glover, Cafolla, O’Kane, Calderwood,

Reynolds

Subs used:

Jallow, DD McAllister, TJ Murray, Dinu, Arthurs

Subs not used:

Neeson, Scannell

0 comments

Recent Posts

See All