Irish Premiership: Ten-man Reds edge Ports as top four win

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Currie starts Portadown reign with defeat by 10-man Reds

Cliftonville clinched a 1-0 victory over bottom side Portadown despite playing most of the game with 10 men.

Levi Ives netted before Jason McGuinness was sent-off as Niall Currie made a losing start as Ports boss.

It was also a good day for the other top-four sides with Crusaders beating Ballinamallard 1-0, Linfield winning 2-0 at Ards and Ballymena fighting back to defeat Glentoran 3-2.

Dungannon overcame Carrick 3-1 and Glenavon beat Coleraine 1-0.

As it happened: Saturday's Premiership action

Currie hoped to begin his Ports reign by ending the club's horror record against the Reds - 11 straight defeats without registering a goal against the north Belfast side.

That run was extended as the visitors failed to take advantage of having an extra player from the 23rd minute.

Marching orders

Ives saw his powerful shot diverted into his own net by Garry Breen six minutes before McGuinness was shown a straight red card.

Tempers flared after a heavy challenge on Reds keeper Peter Burke and McGuinness pushed his head into Breen.

Portadown rarely threatened an equaliser and inform Cliftonville remain six points adrift of pacesetters Crusaders.

The champions have made a habit of grinding out narrow wins this season and they did it again at Ferney Park.

Jordan Forsythe netted the only goal with his first-half effort slipping under the body of keeper Cameron Crawford and into the net.

It was a bit easier for second-placed Linfield as Jimmy Callacher bagged a first-half double against managerless Ards.

Linfield's Jimmy Callacher celebrates scoring the first of his two goals against Ards in Bangor
Linfield's Jimmy Callacher celebrates scoring the first of his two goals against Ards in Bangor

The defender headed in the opener and added a close-range finish before the break.

It was a game to remember for Ballymena at the Oval, coming from two down to clinch victory with Johnny McMurray's injury-time winner.

Adam McCracken's own goal and a Stephen McAlorum strike put the Glens in charge but Fra McCaffrey and Tony Kane scored before McMurray won it.

Rhys Marshall headed Glenavon to victory over Coleraine at Mourneview Park, connecting with Joel Cooper's corner early in the second half.

Ally Taggart, Ryan Harpur and Andrew Mitchell were on target for Dungannon in their 3-1 win against Carrick, with Stephen McCullough's superb long-range goal the only highlight for the visitors.

Danske Bank Premiership - Saturday 10 December
Ards 0-2Linfield
Ballinamallard Utd0-1Crusaders
Cliftonville1-0Portadown
Dungannon Swifts3-1Carrick Rangers
Glenavon1-0Coleraine
Glentoran2-3Ballymena Utd

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