Irish Premiership: Linfield 2-0 Carrick Rangers

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Mark Stafford celebrates scoring the opener against Carrick

First-half goals by Mark Stafford and Andrew Waterworth were enough to give third-placed Linfield victory over Carrick Rangers at Windsor Park.

Defender Stafford headed the first in the sixth minute from Kirk Millar's cross from the left flank.

Blues skipper Waterworth doubled the lead on 31 minutes, shooting home after Ross Gaynor's good delivery.

It was a fifth consecutive Premiership victory for David Healy's side who are eight points behind leaders Crusaders.

Early in the second half Carrick claimed they should have had a penalty for hand ball against Linfield defender Jimmy Callacher but referee Mervyn Smyth did not agree.

The defeat sees Gary Haveron's Rangers drop into the bottom two in the Irish Premiership table.

What they said

Linfield manager David Healy: "We are doing OK at the minute, we have picked our league form up.

"Now we have two big games - away to Dungannon on Tuesday night and then Armagh at home in the Irish Cup on Saturday."

Carrick Rangers manager Gary Haveron: "

"We are lucky it was only 2-0 because Linfield were much the better side, especially in the first half.

"We just didn't compete in the first half and the only thing I can take from the game is that we came out and competed much more in the second half."

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