Belfast Telegraph

Stephen Garrett's magical brace puts Cliftonville into Co Antrim Shield Quarter Finals

Ballyclare Comrades 2-5 Cliftonville

By Callum Stuart

Cliftonville comfortably brushed aside the challenge of Belfast Telegraph Championship 1 side Ballyclare Comrades to make the quarter-finals of the County Antrim Shield.

Tiarnan Mulvenna scored his first goal for the club, with Stephen Garrett and James Knowles bagging two each as the Reds sidestepped a potential banana skin that Linfield skidded out of the League Cup on a few weeks ago.

Cliftonville made a fantastic start to the game, with Garrett opening the scoring in the first minute – and what a goal it was. After running 40 yards with the ball, he curled a beautiful strike into the corner of the net.

It was 2-0 just three minutes later when Mulvenna – signed from Glenavon at the end of August in a swap deal that saw Ciaran Caldwell go in the opposite direction – latched onto a ball over the top and fired it into the bottom corner of the net.

There was more to come from Garrett. In the final minute of the first half he collected the ball and curled it into the net from all of 30 yards – another fantastic finish.

After scoring in the opening minute of the first half, the Reds repeated the feat at the start of the second.

They were awarded a free-kick 30 yards out and Knowles stepped up to drill a low effort past Ballyclare goalkeeper Paddy Flood and into the net.

Ballyclare rallied and Adam Gray pulled one back on 50 minutes with a finish from 10 yards.

Knowles then got his second of the game just before the halfway stage of the second half.

Substitute Johnny McMurray controlled the ball on the edge of the box and rolled it into his path to finish into the bottom corner of the net from 20 yards.

There was a final consolation for the Comrades two minutes from time.

As the Cliftonville defence struggled to clear, Sammy McIlveen took advantage of a favourable break to fire home from close range.

BALLYCLARE COMRADES: Flood, Doherty, Gage, Getty, Buckley, McIlveen, McGowan, McClurg, Agnew, Reid, Gray. Subs: McCart, Smith, McClean, Forsythe, Conn.

CLIFTONVILLE: Brown, McGovern, Flynn, McMullan, Garrett, Knowles, Seydak, Winchester, Murray, Cosgrove, Mulvenna. Subs: Scannell, Johnston, Curran, Donnelly, McMurray.

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