Belfast Telegraph

Barry Gray hails Mr Cliftonville as Joe Gormley ties Reds' scoring record

Cliftonville 3 Ards 1

By Conor McLaughlin

Barry Gray says Joe Gormley lacks one component to be Cliftonville's captain - a nasty side.

Though current Reds skipper Chris Curran has a reputation for being something of a Mr Nice Guy himself, he's not averse to giving team-mates the sort of constructive earful that his manager believes Gormley would be incapable of dishing out.

"For me, Joe epitomises what Cliftonville are all about," said Gray after watching the 28-year-old frontman equal the club's all-time scoring record with a double against Ards.

"He's so humble, so nice, always willing to work hard and do his bit. He's scored all those goals but he'll be the first to give his team-mates credit for supplying him with the chances, that's the sort of person he is.

"He's Mr Cliftonville and has all the attributes to be a captain - except that he's too nice! I don't think he has it in him to do the nasty things and say the unpleasant things that a captain sometimes has to say."

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Gormley netted on 79 and 90 minutes to join Kevin McGarry on 170 goals for the Reds, who forged ahead on 87 via a deflected Conor McMenamin effort.

Ards had led through a blistering Michael McLellan drive on a day when Mark Kelly, Kym Nelson and Ryan Strain joined their crowded injury list.

"We're having no luck at the minute but I can't fault the players, they're giving it everything," said boss Colin Nixon. "Hopefully it turns for us because it's very frustrating for everybody."

CLIFTONVILLE: Brush, McGovern, Ives, Breen, C Curran, R Curran (Garrett, 75 mins,), McDonald, Catney (R Donnelly, 64 mins), Gormley, J Donnelly (McConnell, 89 mins), McMenamin. Unused subs: Neeson, Lavery, Maguire, A Donnelly.

ARDS: Johnston, Kerr, Byers, Taylor, M Kelly (McLellan, 16 mins), McAllister, J Kelly, Mitchell, McClean, Nelson (Cherry, 68 mins), Strain (McArthur, 70 mins). Unused subs: Elebert, Mooney, McKenna, McAleenan.

Referee: Evan Boyce (Ballygowan)

Man of the match: Joe Gormley

Match rating: 7/10

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