Cliftonville moved to within two points of second-placed Portadown with victory at Shamrock Park.
Barry Johnston took advantage of poor defending by the home team to score with a right-foot shot from inside the area in the ninth minute.
Martin Donnelly added the second by drilling a left-foot effort into the bottom corner eight minutes later.
Kevin Braniff slotted home from a Matthew Tipton cross on 35 and John Convery was sent-off after 84.
After Johnston's opener, Tipton hooked the ball over the bar from close range as Portadown attempted to get back in the game.
Chris Scannell provided the square ball for Donnelly to find the net and give Cliftonville some breathing space.
But Braniff managed to get to the ball first to give the Ports hope before the interval.
After half-time Braniff volleyed wide with an audacious effort from 45 yards out.
His strike partner Tipton then headed in but the offside flag was already raised.
Substitute Convery was dismissed by referee Arnold Hunter six minutes from time when he pulled Tipton back as the striker ran in on goal.
McCluskey fired past the post and David Miskelly saved from Stephen Garrett when the forward should perhaps have done better.