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Scannell, Kennedy strike to help Reds into last eight

By Conor McLaughlin

Cliftonville booked their place in the last four of the County Antrim Shield with a comfortable 2-0 win over Donegal Celtic at Solitude last night.

There was no repeat of the home side's frustration from the last meeting between the teams a fortnight ago.

On that occasion goalkeeper Declan Brown earned Celtic a point with a heroic display but the youngster was left helpless inside just two minutes last night as Chris Scannell opened the scoring with a right-footed shot from the edge of the area.

That goal was exactly the start the home side had hoped for but they failed to build up on their lead as the half progressed.

Gary Kennedy saw a brace of chances come and go before Scannell lashed an effort just inches over the top.

The same player carved out a wonderful opportunity for himself on 15 minutes, beating four men before seeing his shot blocked.

DC began to find their feet thereafter and enjoyed some neat passages of play in a strong end to the half.

Paul McVeigh headed an effort just wide before ex-Reds defender Ciaran Donaghy was close to converting a loose ball following a collision between John Connelly and Ciaran McMullan.

The half then took a controversial turn with referee Brian Turkington taking centre stage.

First he failed to spot an off-the-ball incident which left Cliftonville's John O'Loughlin floored and then booked the same player for returning to the field without permission following treatment.

Banished to the sidelines once more, O'Loughlin was then ignored by the referee as the game continued.

Cliftonville remained on top after the break, but it took 21 minutes before either side threatened, Kennedy sending a 35-yard free-kick just over the bar.

Kennedy was then just inches away from connecting with a throughball by Scannell before the Reds almost gifted Celtic an equaliser when O'Loughlin misjudged a ball over the top and Barry Holland cleared the danger as McVeigh closed in.

Cliftonville rallied late on to secure the victory, however, and made it 2-0 with 13 minutes remaining.

George McMullan cut down the left flank and with all eyes on the wrestling match between Scannell and McAllister in the middle, McMullan squared for Kennedy to tap in.

It sealed a fine win for Cliftonville.

CLIFTONVILLE: Connolly, Fleming, B Holland, O'Loughlin (Devine), O'Hara, McAlinden, Cleary (Boyd), G McMullan, C Scannell, Kennedy, C McMullan (Heatley).

DONEGAL CELTIC: Brown, Bonner (McDonald), Donaghy, MacLean, Corrigan, Duff, Melaugh, Lyons (Allsopp), Armstrong (Harbinson), McAllister, McVeigh.

Referee: Brian Turkington (Belfast).

Belfast Telegraph


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