Northern Ireland captain Marissa Callaghan guided Cliftonville to an emphatic North Belfast derby win over Crusaders Strikers in the Danske Bank Women’s Premiership on Wednesday night.
The experienced midfielder was acting as player-manager for the Solitude clash after Marty Douglas stepped down earlier this week, with the Reds running out convincing victors.
Callaghan was on the scoresheet alongside the returning Billie Simpson – last season’s Player of the Year winner – while Megan Moran was also on target, with Joana da Silva netting a brace.
The result sees Cliftonville move nine points clear of the Crues in fourth place and takes the Reds to within just five points of Sion Swifts in third, with both now having played 10 matches.
Linfield took advantage of Glentoran not playing to return to the top of the league as they recorded a landslide 13-1 victory at basement side Comber Rec.
The Blues have been in bullish mood recently – going into last week’s fixtures they were level on points with the Glens but had a 10-goal inferior goal difference, but now are eight goals better off than their Belfast rivals having also won 8-0 at Cliftonville last week.
The majority of the damage was done in the first half when Linfield netted nine goals without reply – with four more following after the break in the biggest win of the campaign to date.
The hosts kept battling until the end and were rewarded for their endeavor when captain Sarah McKillen netted a late consolation free-kick.Glentoran sat out this round of action while Sion Swifts defeated Derry City 7-0 in a game that was brought forward to last week.