Belfast Telegraph

Gerard Lyttle believes Darren Murray can hit a higher gear

Dungannon 2-2 Cliftonville

By Adrian Rutherford

Gerard Lyttle is hoping Cliftonville will soon see the best of Darren Murray.

The striker had been struggling for goals after swapping Portadown for Solitude in the January transfer window, but he showed his potential with two classy finishes as the Reds were held by Dungannon Swifts.

Lyttle felt Murray's performance was the main positive on an otherwise frustrating day and believes that once the 24-year-old gets back to full match sharpness, he will be a huge asset.

"I thought Darren Murray was very good and was a big plus for us," said Lyttle.

"He's been working really hard on his fitness and sharpness, and hopefully we'll start to see the best of him."

Receiving a pass from Chris Curran, Murray controlled with his right foot before scoring with his left, placing the ball inside the far post to open the scoring.

But in Andrew Mitchell, Dungannon had the game's stand-out player.

He equalised in the 21st minute with a powerful header.

Murray put the Reds back in front early in the second-half, sweeping home after running on to Marc Smyth's through ball.

But it all went wrong for them in the final quarter of an hour.

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First they lost David McDaid to a red card for a foul on David Armstrong.

Then, with just three minutes remaining, Mitchell equalised for the second time after a goalmouth scramble. Lyttle added: "Up until the sending off we were controlling the game really well.

"Their goals came from set-pieces and balls into the box, but in terms of chances I don't think they created much.

"In the last few minutes with the extra man they have thrown everybody up."

Many Dungannon fans would take issue with Lyttle's analysis of the 90 minutes, with head coach Rodney McAree insisting: "We thoroughly deserved to win the game."

DUNGANNON: Coleman, Burns, Hegarty, Armstrong, O'Rourke, Wilson, Harpur, Hazley (Glackin, 66 mins), Teggart (Liggett, 79 mins), Burke, Mitchell. Unused subs: Addis, Fitzpatrick, McCaffrey

CLIFTONVILLE: Burke, McGovern, Flynn, Smyth, Ives, Catney, Winchester (J Donnelly, 66 mins), Curran, M Donnelly (Garrett, 80 mins), McDaid, Murray (Hughes, 87 mins). Unused subs: Brennan, George

Man of the match: Andrew Mitchell

Match rating: 8/10

Referee: Keith Kennedy (Lisburn)

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