Gray pleased with Reds' game management
Carrick Rangers 0 Cliftonville 1
Cliftonville manager Barry Gray has praised his players' resilience after Joe Gormley's 26th goal of the season earned a 1-0 win over Carrick Rangers.
It's a third straight victory for Gray's side having seen off Crusaders in the Premiership and then Linfield in the Irish Cup - and the boss says their performance reflected their tough schedule.
"It was the game we thought it'd be today, and that's not taking anything away from Carrick," Gray said.
"We took our opportunity and managed the game out, and you could see today that some of the players are feeling leggy after the last few games in succession with little recovery time. You could see that in the performance and it's tough enough to come here at the best of times."
Gray was also glowing in his praise for Gormley, whose impressive goalscoring streak continued when he slammed home midway through the first half.
"He's a centre forward that scores goals for Cliftonville, it shouldn't come as much of a shock," the manager added.
"I'm delighted he's got another one, obviously he's taken his fair share of critics this season, but if he was having a poor season then he wouldn't be scoring those goals for us."
Carrick chief David McAlinden was less enthused.
"We provided them with one chance and they put it in, and we didn't get that bit of quality or luck in the second half and that was the difference," he said.
CARRICK: Doherty, Edgar (Mooney, 81 mins), Surgenor (Scannell, 70 mins), McNally, Taggart (Nimick, 60 mins), J Smith, McAllister, Larmour, Hassin, Henderson, McNulty. Unused subs: Chapman, M Smith.
CLIFTONVILLE: Neeson, McGovern, Breen (Ives, 20 mins), Harney, Curran, Harkin, Gormley, J Donnelly, Lavery (R Donnelly, 66 mins), Grimes, McDonald (Winchester, 72 mins). Unused subs: Dunne, Bagnall.
Referee: Evan Boyce (Ballygowan)
Man of the match: Ruairi Harkin
Match rating: 5/10