Joshua Bunting reports from Solitude
Cliftonville played host to Drogheda United in a friendly on Saturday afternoon at Solitude running out 4-1 winners.
Played in tough conditions due to Storm Dennis it was Cliftonville who started the better when Peter McKiernan played the ball into Micheal McCrudden before he fired his effort wide of the target on 15 minutes.
Drogheda who start their season next week away at Cobh Ramblers had their opening chance on 22 minutes when Chris Lyons linked up well with Mark Doyle before his effort was well blocked by Aaron Donnelly.
Declan Dunne in the Reds goal was then forced into an excellent save on 27 minutes when Doyle was played in by a sensational pass from Adam Wixted before his shot down low was well pushed away by the keeper.
Wixted and Doyle were linking up well and they both combined with Doyle being played in over the top but Conor McDermott and Odhran Casey did well to see the danger away.
Paddy McLaughlin was then forced into a change as McKiernan was forced off due to injury and replaced by Conor McMenamin.
On the stroke of the break Ross Treacy in the visitors goal then made an excellent low save to keep out McMenamin as he drilled a low effort in at the near-post.
However Cliftonville did start the second half like a house on fire as they took the lead when Thomas Maguire linked up with McMenamin before his low shot deflected off Hugh Douglas and into the net wrong-footing Treacy.
McLaughlin then nearly saw his side double their lead minutes later when Ronan Wilson slipped in McMenamin once more but once again he saw his effort well kept out by Treacy.
The Reds did double their lead on 52 minutes when Maguire whipped in an inch perfect cross for Calvin McCurry and he executed a stunning overhead kick into the net to raptures of applause at Solitude.
Doyle then had a fine effort for the Drogs as his header from close range was diverted away by Casey saving a certain goal.
Treacy then was called into action once more as McCrudden skipped away down the right before his cross was well plucked out of the air by the keeper before Maguire could react at the back-post.
McMenamin then made it 3-0 on 57 minutes when McCrudden whipped in a low cross for the in-form man and he fired the ball beyond Treacy from close range.
Dunne then made a good stop as Drogheda were trying to get a goal back when Douglas towering header following a Jake Hyland corner was tipped away by the young stopper.
Cliftonville then nearly made it 4-0 when Dylan Snodden whipped in a looping cross but Treacy was alert to push the effort away.
Drogheda however did pull a goal back in the final ten minutes when Jordan Adeyemo met a cut-back after Hughes had played a low cross across the box.
Cliftonville did complete the scoring in the 86th minute with the superb McCurry doubled his tally when Snodden played him in before he dinked the ball over the advancing Treacy to make it 4-1
Cliftonville: Dunne, McDermott, Foster, Wilson, McCrudden, Maguire, Donnelly, Casey, Rocks, McCurry, McKiernan.
Drogheda United: Tracey, Brown, Kane, Tuite, Douglas, Wixted, Lyons, O'Farrell, Hyland, Doyle and Hughes.