Cliftonville used to being outsiders says David Odumosu

Cliftonville celebrate after Shea Kearney's goal in Saturday's game against Glentoran                                  PICTURE: Arthur Allison
Cliftonville celebrate after Shea Kearney's goal in Saturday's game against Glentoran PICTURE: Arthur Allison Cliftonville celebrate after Shea Kearney's goal in Saturday's game against Glentoran PICTURE: Arthur Allison

CLIFTONVILLE may be an outside bet for this year's Sports Direct Premiership title, but the Reds are used to being outsiders, says goalkeeper David Odumosu.

The North Belfast side were held to a 2-2 draw in an entertaining contest at Solitude on Saturday, despite racing to an early lead.

Ronan Hale opened after just three minutes but the Glens hit back either side of the break through Daire O'Connor and David Fisher.

However, 19-year-old Shea Kearney rescued a point with a dazzling long range strike on 55 minutes to keep Cliftonville in touch at the top.

It was the first time Jim Magilton's team had dropped points in five games but the Reds remain in third place, four points behind leaders Linfield having played a game more.

Odumosu joined Cliftonville on loan from St Pat's Athletic in July and has made the No 1 jersey his own after a string of assured performances.

He reveals he has been welcomed with open arms while he welcomes commentators predicting the title race is a dogfight between the Blues and second-placed Larne only.

“I feel we have always been outsiders”, said Odumosu, who was at hometown club Dundalk and Drogheda United before moving to St Pat's in 2022.

“Since I arrived at Solitude, whether we are playing teams at the top of the league or the bottom, I don't think anyone has talked about us as serious title challengers, and that suits us fine.

“It gets us up for matches, we use it as motivation.

“For example, the last time we played Glentoran away, (a 1-0 defeat at The Oval in September), we felt a couple of decisions didn't go our way so we used it to fire us up for Saturday's game.

“Larne are the Champions and Linfield won the title four years in a row before that, but nothing is set in stone, that means nothing to me.

“We're right up there so let's see what happens.”

After the game on Saturday, Reds boss Magilton bemoaned 'little lapses in concentration' and wanted his players to be more clinical.

Odumosu agrees with his boss's assessment but insists there was more to be happy with from the draw.

“The gaffer spoke afterwards about moments in the game and he was right.

“I thought we were excellent. We went 1-0 up after three minutes and it felt like we were cruising, it felt like a second goal was going to come.

“Their equalising goal came from a lapse, we could have done better for it but there were no pointing fingers, even after they scored their second.

“We stuck together and got the equaliser we deserved, and I thought we were the better team.

“That shows the character in the team and we showed it the week before when we went 1-0 down to Dungannon Swifts but came back to win the game 4-1.”

Meanwhile, Glentoran manager Warren Feeney hailed Cliftonville as the best team he has seen while praising his own team for their character.

“Cliftonville, for me, are the best team in the league from what I've seen of them”, said the former Northern Ireland striker.

“So to go there, get a point and be disappointed says a lot.

“We knew Cliftonville would start fast and I was disappointed with the goal we conceded because it was just a straight ball.

“But we didn't fold. That shows the character and commitment.

“We got back into the game, started the second half very well but we knew Cliftonville were going to come back at us.

“But we held on well and we'll take our point.”

Glentoran play host to Newry City on Saturday while Cliftonville travel to Loughgall.

LINFIELD moved back to the top of Irish League table on Saturday with a comeback win over 10-man Dungannon Swifts at Windsor Park.

The Blues, starting the day in second place after Larne’s 4-1 win over Glenavon on Friday, were stunned to find themselves 3-1 down at half-time.

Matthew Lusty put the Swifts ahead from the spot after 13 minutes before Rhys Annett equalised with a long-range strike just four minutes later.

As the game approached half-time, the visitors turned the game on its head. First, Cahal McGinty headed home from a Kealan Dillon free-kick, then Michael Newberry disastrously overhit his back-pass beyond Chris Johns into the Linfield net.

Annett reduced the deficit three minutes into the second-half, but despite the dismissal of James Knowles on 69 minutes for a rash challenge on Jamie Mulgrew, Dungannon looked to be holding out for a famous victory.

However, Joel Cooper levelled on 86 minutes and Kirk Millar grabbed the winner four minutes into injury-time.

Coleraine earn a first win in seven as they edged Loughgall 3-2 at Ballycastle Road.

Ciarán O'Hara marked his debut by nodding the Bannsiders ahead before Tiernan Kelly equalised for the visitors. Lee Lynch restored Coleraine's lead five minutes before half-time and Conor McKendry extended their advantage just before the hour.

Although Coleraine had Davy McDaid sent-off, they hung on for victory despite Benjamin Magee pulling a goal back for the visitors.