Cliftonville are three points behind leaders Linfield after first-half goals by Liam Boyce and Martin Donnelly gave them victory over Coleraine.
Boyce had a penalty saved by Bannsiders keeper Gregg Shannon after just two minutes after defender David Ogilby had fouled Barry Johnston.
However, Boyce followed up to score in the 10th minute after Joe Gormley's initial shot had been saved by Shannon.
Donnelly made it 2-0 with a superb shot on the 23 minutes.
Boyce found the Cliftonville winger with a fine pass and Donnelly cut inside to score with a left-foot shot from outside the penalty area.
It was a ninth successive Premiership defeat for one-from-bottom Coleraine who are four points ahead of Ards.
Oran Kearney had brought on striker Gary Browne for Stephen Carson in the second half but home keeper Conor Devlin was rarely troubled.
Aaron Canning did have a shot deflected for a corner but Cliftonville's victory was never in doubt.
"You cannot afford to put in a first-half performance like the one we did," said Coleraine boss Kearney.
"We were climbing an uphill battle after that and it is disappointing.
"We have to move on and we have a massive game against Ards on Saturday.
"It has not been a pleasant Christmas and New Year period. We are at rock bottom but I'm hoping brining new players in will give us a fresh impetus."
Linfield's match against Glenavon was postponed because of a waterlogged pitch at Windsor Park.