A goal in each half at Ferney Park gave Cliftonville victory and earned interim boss Gerard Lyttle his third victory in a row.
The reds started the game at a high tempo and took the lead on 8 minutes, thanks to a sublime long range strike from Stephen Garrett.
The home side almost drew level on the half hour mark when Cathal Beacom slotted in Liam Martin, whose shot hit the bar, with McCrudden unable to control the rebound.
Garrett again went close for the reds, whilst McDaid seen his effort cleared off the line by McCartney, after the ball appeared to have deflected off the arm of Steve Feeney inside the penalty area.
The Mallards started better in the second period, with McCrudden and Feeney both going close before Cliftonville were awarded a penalty on 65 minutes. Emmet Friars was adjudged to have fouled Marc Smyth, and McDaid converted from the spot, despite Rouse almost saving.
The home side thought they had got themselves back in the game with a quarter of the game remaining, but linesman Grealey raised his offide flag against Friars.
The home side made a late rally, with Feeney appearing to be fouled in the box, but whistler Smyth was having none of it and the game finished 2-0 to Cliftonville.