Irish Premiership: Cliftonville 1-0 Ballinamallard Utd

Cliftonville scrape past Mallards at Solitude

Cliftonville moved into second place in the Premiership courtesy of this win over Ballinamallard United at Solitude.

Martin Donnelly scored the winner in the 50th minute when he pounced to fire into the net after George McMullan's initial shot cannoned off the post.

The victory sees the Reds leapfrog north Belfast rivals Crusaders ahead of their Boxing Day meeting at Seaview.

Tommy Breslin's side are now unbeaten in 11 league matches and lie four points behind leaders Linfield.

Dwayne McManus squandered a good early chance for the Mallards when his effort from a few yards out hit the bar and the ball fell into the arms of goalkeeper Conor Devlin.

At the other end, Liam Boyce dragged a shot badly wide.

Andy Crawford then smacked a shot against the woodwork while Alvin Rouse tipped a Martin Murray shot round for a corner.

After Donnelly broke the deadlock, McManus curled a shot wide as the visitors searched for an equaliser.

"Everyone was saying we were 'one season wonders' but we have dug deep and are back in the title race now," said Donnelly after the game.

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