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Michael McCrudden will 'bang them in' for Cliftonville after injury woes, vows McLaughlin

Cliftonville 3 Rathfriland Rangers 1


Hard yards: Reds ace Michael McCrudden is building fitness

Hard yards: Reds ace Michael McCrudden is building fitness

�INPHO/Brian Little

Hard yards: Reds ace Michael McCrudden is building fitness

Paddy McLaughlin says he can see Michael McCrudden edging back to his best after the striker played the entirety of Cliftonville's victory over Rathfriland Rangers.

The former Institute captain, who was snapped up from Derry City earlier this month, has yet to find the net for the Reds but McLaughlin insists that patience will be rewarded where the 28-year-old is concerned.

"That's McCrudden's first 90 minutes in a year and it will be a massive benefit to him," said the Cliftonville chief, who saw Jamie Harney, Ryan Curran and Joe Gormley on target on a day when Stephen Hughes struck for the visitors.

"He's gone from not playing any football at all for months to playing four times in a few weeks and now he has a full game under his belt. You can see him starting to develop understandings with the other boys up front and he was just a wee bit unlucky with a couple of touches and final passes. Once he's fully firing again, he'll bang them in because he's a quality player."

Rangers boss Aaron Black reserved some praise of his own for veteran defender Peter Telford, who excelled against his former employers.

"I think Peter is 38 now and this will probably be his last season, though I'll be trying to get him to stay on," he said.

"He thinks he's a central midfielder and also wants to play up front but I put him in at the back because of what he can offer us from there and I thought he had a great game."

CLIFTONVILLE: Dunne, McDermott, Ives, Harney, R Curran, McCrudden, Bagnall, Doherty, Gormley, Maguire (McMenamin, 30 mins), Donnelly. Unused subs: Brush, C Curran, Foster, Rocks, McCurry, McKiernan.

RATHFRILAND: Parr, Graham, Evans, Telford, Scannell, Fitzpatrick, Kilmartin, Campbell (Prentice, 63 mins), Hughes (Black, 77 mins), Lockhart, Roy. Unused subs: Edgar, Havern.

Referee: Steven Gregg (Ballyclare)

Man of the match: Joe Gormley

Match rating: 6/10

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