Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 23 July 2014

Don’t single Cliftonville out: Eddie

Eddie Patterson hopes the Irish FA will not just single out Cliftonville for punishment after the County Antrim Shield final was marred by a firework throwing incident.

Blues midfielder Conor Hagan was fortunate to escape serious injury when he was struck by a firework after the final whistle but Reds players said they had to dodge missiles as they left the pitch.

“It was a terrible, horrible incident but it also has to be remembered that my players had pieces of metal and coins thrown at them,” said Patterson.

“It’s right that both clubs down play issues such as this as they are the actions of lunatics but perhaps security does need to be stepped up at games because this behaviour tarnishes the reputation of both clubs.”

This has been a season of false dawns for the Reds but there is genuine hope at Solitude that their County Antrim Shield triumph can be a springboard for the team to shoot up the league table.

Lisburn Distillery are the visitors to north Belfast tomorrow hoping for a repeat of their 3-1 success over Patterson’s men at Ballyskeagh in August.

“We have renewed confidence and self-belief after the Shield win and it was just the performance and result we needed to lift spirits,” added Patterson.

“The table does not lie and the Whites are fifth on merit but we have to make Solitude a hard ground for teams to come to again.”

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk