• Michael Barritt

Match Report: Cliftonville 3-0 Ards

Danske Bank Premiership

Friday, 23 March, 2018

By Adrian Monaghan

Cliftonville had little difficulty in overcoming an Ards side that never really got going at Solitude last night. Ards never find it easy at Solitude, indeed, their last win against the Reds at the North Belfast venue was back in January 2006.

The visitors did start brightly enough – a wayward backpass in the opening minutes had Brian Neeson scrambling to recover, then Guillaume Keke raced in on goal, but his parting shot was tame and straight into Neeson’s arms.

Cliftonville opened their account on 12 minutes. A free-kick on the right was delivered into the penalty area where Jay Donnelly put a toe to the ball to squeeze it past an exposed Sam Johnston.

Johnston was kept busy thereafter and had to be at his best to stop an effort from Conor McDonald at the second attempt on 15 minutes. Jamie Harney, then Jay Donnelly tested the keeper soon after.

Ards were finding it difficult to curtail the quick movement of the home attack and were relieved to go to the break with only a one goal deficit.

The Red and Blues had their best chance of the evening on 65 minutes. A defence-splitting pass from Frazer put Keke in, but the impressive Neeson was alert to the danger and racing off his l