Jim Magilton's strong start as Cliftonville boss continues as Reds breeze past Newry

Rory Hale came off the bench to score and grab an assist as Cliftonville defeated Newry City 3-0.
Rory Hale came off the bench to score and grab an assist as Cliftonville defeated Newry City 3-0.

Sports Direct Premiership

Newry City 0 Cliftonville 3

New Cliftonville boss Jim Magilton made it two wins from two on Tuesday evening, as his side had too much quality for Newry City at The Showgrounds.

All three goals came in the first half through Luke Turner, new signing Ben Wilson and Rory Hale – who came on for the injured Joe Gormley just 17 minutes into the game.

“I’m absolutely delighted; it’s a tough place to come,” reflected Magilton after the game, although he wasn’t able to provide an update on Gormley’s status.

“We had to play really well off the back of a really good Newry result last Saturday. We had to be totally focused and disciplined in our performance.”

Left wing-back Sean Stewart caused Newry problems down the flank all evening, and a dangerous cross from the Norwich loanee nine minutes into the game led to corner from which the Reds opened the scoring. From Chris Gallagher’s set-piece Newry failed to clear their lines, and Turner was on-hand to convert from close range.

The hosts responded well and had their best period of the game, with Adam Salley forcing Nathan Gartside into a save in a one on one, but Cliftonville pulled two ahead when Ronan Doherty played the ball to Hale on the edge of the box and he fed Wilson, who finished past Steven Maguire.

On 32 minutes it was game over when Doherty and Hale once again linked up, as Doherty cut the ball back from the by-line and the wide-open Hale applied the finish.

In the second half, Cliftonville comfortably saw the game out and although Magilton was happy with the win, he believes there is more to come from his side.

“I thought the goals were fantastic and they gave us a platform to go and play from, and we managed the game very well in the second half,” he said.

“But we still have so much to work on and improve upon in terms of our final pass, our shot selection, to be ready for a tough game against Carrick.

“But with that said, two wins, with two clean sheets is very satisfying for everyone.”

For Newry, the game was all too similar to their 3-0 defeat at home to Loughgall on the opening day, as they found themselves 3-0 down in the first half and could never recover.

Despite that, manager Gary Boyle was very positive about his side’s display.

“The result is disappointing, but performance-wise I’m not sat here like I was after the first game of the season tearing my hair out,” he said.

“I thought that we played extremely well in patches throughout the game, but when we get chances against top-level teams, we need to put them away.

“Cliftonville will probably beat a lot of teams 3-0 over the course of the season I’m sure, because they’re a top side.

“We tried to and wanted to stay in the game for as long as we could, but the most disappointing thing was going from 2-0 down to 3-0 so quickly, because it’s something we have been talking about with the players for a very long time.”

Elsewhere in the Sports Direct Premiership, two early goals saw Cliftonville’s next opponents Carrick Rangers stun Coleraine 2-0 whilst Glentoran were made to work for a 1-0 victory away to top-flight newcomers Loughgall.

Reigning champions Larne saw off Ballymena United 3-0, with two late goals helping them put the icing on the cake, whilst Linfield defeated Glenavon 4-2, and Crusaders triumphed 2-0 over Dungannon Swifts at Seaview.


Newry City: Maguire, King, N Healy, McKeown (McGovern 76), C O’Connor, Salley, Martin, Forde, Newell (B Healy 62), Poynton (HT), Owens (Mooney 69).

Unused subs: Murphy, M O’Connor, Magennis.

Cliftonville: Gartside, Stewart, Addis, Gallagher (Curran 72), Lowe, Robinson, Doherty, Gormley (Hale 17), Casey (Pepper 72), Turner, Wilson (Berry 79).

Unused subs: Odumosu, McDonagh, McGuinness.

Referee: Andrew Davey