Irish Premiership: Cliftonville beat Glenavon to go fifth

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Cliftonville move into fifth with victory over Glenavon

Conor McMenamin and Ryan Curran scored to give Cliftonville a hard-fought 2-0 Irish Premiership win over Glenavon.

McMenamin fired the visitors into the lead after 37 minutes before Curran netted a smash-and-grab second on 76 to clinch Paddy McLaughlin's biggest win as Cliftonville boss.

Glenavon dominated possession for long spells but failed to make it count.

It was the response Cliftoinville manager Paddy McLaughlin wanted after Tuesday's defeat at Ballymena United.

The hosts started brightly, with wingers Josh Daniels and Conor McCloskey providing an early threat.

But it was Cliftonville who found the breakthrough in a scrappy first-half, McMenamin firing past Jonathan Tuffey after Chris Curran and Rory Donnelly had both been denied by the Glenavon goalkeeper.

The home side's frustration grew after the break. Cliftonville, happy to sit back and protect their lead, cleared countless crosses in a gritty defensive display.

Glenavon, determined to find the equaliser, began to leave space at the back and it favoured Cliftonville.

Joe Gormley broke up the pitch after a mistake by Seamus Sharkey and squared to Curran, who made no mistake from close range.

Cliftonville spurned chances to extend their lead, Tuffey denying both Gormley and McMenamin.

But McLaughlin will be delighted with three points away to a side above the Reds in the table as they replace Coleraine in fifth place, three points behind Glenavon.