Lyttle pleased with Nelson's impact as Reds turn the screw
Cliftonville 2 Ards 1
Gerard Lyttle admitted he was bemused by the raised eyebrows that accompanied news of Kym Nelson's loan switch to Cliftonville but believes the midfielder's debut display justifies the decision to bring him to Solitude.
Snapped up on a short-term deal from Glentoran, the 21-year-old impressed as the Reds battled from behind to see off Ards on Saturday; Davy McDaid and Levi Ives netting in the second-half to turn the tie on its head after Michael Ruddy's penalty had handed the visitors an interval advantage.
"I don't get the question marks over Kym's ability," said Lyttle.
"I've known him since he was 16, I've coached him before, I know what he's about and what he can bring to a team so I had no hesitation in bringing him here when the opportunity came up.
"He played very well, as did everybody after half-time, and didn't look like someone who's barely kicked a ball this season. I'm not sure when the last time he played 90 minutes was, but he coped very well and didn't look out of place at all."
Reds' matchwinner Ives was delighted to score the goal that atoned for his concession of a penalty when, after taking a tumble, he instinctively reached out with his arm and tried to protect the ball from falling back into Ards' possession.
"I don't know what I was doing," he admitted. "I just couldn't pick myself up and kept going nearer and nearer the ball, I've no idea what was going on.
"Thankfully, we were able to come back and win the game and it was even nicer for me personally that I was able to score the winner to make up for the penalty."
Visiting boss Colin Nixon was frustrated with his side's second half display, explaining: "It's disappointing because we had done so well to get ourselves into the lead and had something to build on."