Belfast Telegraph

Gerard Lyttle hails Cliftonville after making it 10 without defeat

Cliftonville 3 - Ballinamallard1

By Conor McLaughlin

Gerard Lyttle says Cliftonville's attitude was key as they clocked up a 10th consecutive Premiership game without defeat at the weekend.

The Reds survived an early scare against Ballinamallard United when goalkeeper Conor Devlin saved Liam Martin's 14th minute penalty kick but, once the unfortunate Colm McLaughlin had turned the ball into his own net to nudge the hosts in front, Cliftonville pushed on to take firm control of proceedings thanks to a double blast from Davy McDaid.

"We prepare for every match the same way no matter who we're playing," said Lyttle.

"You see it all the time, teams getting big results in certain matches and then not following it up in their next game.

"We were coming off the back of a great win against Linfield at Windsor and then a big cup win over Glentoran in midweek. You hear certain sides being talked about as lesser teams, but you could never say that about Ballinamallard. These are the matches that are most difficult but full credit to the players because they went about things exactly as we wanted them to."

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United boss Whitey Anderson, whose side pulled one back through James McKenna, was frustrated to have paid the penalty once again.

Having suffered defeat to Ballymena thanks to a spot-kick and exited the League Cup in a shoot-out to Ards earlier in the week, Anderson said: "I think if we score the penalty, it changes the game and we wouldn't have lost it.

"We're just going through a wee blip at the moment but I have faith in my players."

CLIFTONVILLE: Devlin, McGovern, Ives, Flynn, Curran, McDaid, M Donnelly, Catney, Winchester, Cosgrove, George. Subs: Bonner, Knowles (Catney, 77 mins), McMullan (Curran, 87 mins), Garrett (George, 63 mins), J Donnelly.

BALLINAMALLARD: Rouse, McMenamin, McKenna, Friars, McLaughlin, Beacom, Lecky, McCrudden, Martin, Campbell, Lafferty. Subs: Currie, Courtney (McCrudden, 70 mins), Kublosek (Campbell, 80 mins), Feeney, Phair (Beacom, 56 mins).

Man of the match: Tomas Cosgrove

Match rating: 7/10

Referee: Keith Kennedy (Lisburn)


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