Belfast Telegraph

Paddy's perfect start for Reds' clean machine

Billy Weir

By Billy Weir

It didn't take long for Paddy McLaughlin to make his mark at Cliftonville, the teak-tough defender adding some steel to a Reds backline that had more holes in it than a tramp's vest.

After only a few days' work, the former Institute boss switched to a back three and it paid dividends with a win and a clean sheet against Newry City.

That is no mean task given that it was a first clean sheet in 16 games for a team that had let in 23 goals in their previous eight outings.

"As an ex-centre-half myself, I know all about the importance of defending and keeping clean sheets," he said.

"It would have been nice to have got an extra goal or two just so we could enjoy ourselves a bit more, but I think we restricted Newry pretty well and we can have no complaints about a win and a clean sheet, that's the kind of start we would have wanted."

Tougher games and times will probably be coming up, but no one would begrudge one of the game's good guys his perfect start.

Strewth, from Town go under to Down Under

I know we are constantly hearing about how dissent should be clamped down upon but transportation to Australia does seem a tad on the strong side.

Ciaran O'Connor's last act as a Warrenpoint Town player was to see red for a bit of a blue with referee Andrew Davey, who certainly gave a XXXX about what the midfielder had said.

I should explain that O'Connor is off for a spell Down Under, although where Fra McCaffrey will be sent after a tackle that nearly broke John Herron's didgeridoo remains to be seen.

We can but hope these acts of madness in the midst of a 5-0 thumping by Glentoran were caused by having more than one eye on Monday night's Tennent's Irish Cup clash with Queen's University.

With the powers-that-be reckoning that Larne Tech Old Boys' ground couldn't cope with the thousands of fans heading up from the Mournes, the quarter-final has been switched to Milltown.

With Larne's game with Coleraine switched for live TV on Friday night (now, those are words I thought I'd never need), a game at the Old Boys' ground on Saturday would have attracted a bumper gate, but no, the bigwigs have spoken.

Nothing like the romance of the cup, eh?

Belfast Telegraph


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