Cliftonville made safe progress to the last eight of the League Cup with a Solitude stroll over Dungannon Swifts last night.
George McMullan and Rory Donnelly had the hosts two to the good at the interval, with Chris Scannell and a Martin Donnelly double reflecting their superiority after the break.
The Reds made one change to the side that defeated the Swifts 4-1 in their weekend Premiership clash, Ciaran Caldwell in for Stephen Garrett, while visiting boss Dixie Robinson handed starting berths to Tom Baldwin, Shea McGerrigan, Shea Campbell, Aidan and Conor Forker following a raft of injury complaints.
They got off to a miserable start, though, with Cliftonville breaking the deadlock after just 71 seconds.
A Caldwell corner was only cleared as far as McMullan on corner of the penalty area and he produced an inch-perfect chip into the far corner, giving goalkeeper Niall Morgan no chance.
The Reds doubled their advantage on the half-hour when Rory Donnelly latched onto an error in the visiting backline and, after exchanging passes with Chris Scannell, scrambled the ball beyond Morgan from eight yards.
Fitzpatrick might have halved the deficit almost instantly only to head wide, while Morgan produced an outstanding fingertip stop to deny Caldwell before getting his angles right to gather Scannell’s attempted lob.
Scannell came out on top when the duo next went toe-to-toe, however; his left-footed finish after some trickery from Rory Donnelly practically knocked the stuffing out of the Swifts on the hour.
Within seven minutes, they would concede a further two goals with Martin Donnelly marking his return from suspension with a quickfire double.
CLIFTONVILLE: Brown, Johnston, Donaghy, Caldwell, McMullan, C Scannell, Smyth, R Donnelly, Seydak, Catney, McVeigh. Subs: Holland (for Smyth, 60 mins), Garrett, M Donnelly (for McMullan, 60 mins), Gormley (for Scannell, 64 mins), Clarke.
DUNGANNON: Morgan, Baldwin, McCaffrey, A Forker, McClean, Funston, Fitzpatrick, C Forker, Ward, McGerrigan, Campbell. Subs: Curran, Montgomery, S Lavery (for C Forker, 58 mins), Donnelly (for McGerrigan, 63 mins), McAree (for A Forker, 79 mins)
Referee: Colin Burns (Newtownabbey)