Irish Premiership: Crues extend lead at top as Reds beat Blues

Goalscorer Ross Lavery wheels away to celebrate after scoring Cliftonville's late winning goal against Linfield
Goalscorer Ross Lavery wheels away to celebrate after scoring Cliftonville's late winning goal against Linfield

Crusaders extended their lead at the top of the Premiership to seven points as Linfield lost 2-1 to Cliftonville on a day of late goalscoring drama.

David Cushley scored the Crues' winner in stoppage time as they beat Ards 1-0 while substitute Ross Lavery netted a last-gasp winner for the Reds.

Glenavon drew 1-1 with Glentoran, while Coleraine beat Ballinamallard United 3-1 and Dungannon saw off Ballymena 4-1.

The basement battle between Carrick Rangers and Portadown ended 1-1.

How the action unfolded in Saturday's Irish Premiership games

Crusaders created the better chances against Ards at Seaview, with Michael Carvill volleying past the post, Jordan Owens seeing his header come off the bar and Gavin Whyte shooting wide in the first half.

Crues goalkeeper Sean O'Neill saved from Kyle Cherry, but after the interval Jordan Forsythe fired straight at Aaron Hogg as the champions managed a first shot on target.

Stephen Baxter's side had Colin Coates carried off injured, but Cushley popped up with a deflected shot to send the home supporters into raptures.

The first half at Windsor Park was a tepid affair, with the best chances falling to Stephen Garrett, who drilled an effort past the post for the visitors, and Niall Quinn, who was just off-target with a left-foot free-kick.

Linfield's Jamie Mulgrew and Ruairi Harkin of Cliftonville battle for possession
Linfield's Jamie Mulgrew and Ruairi Harkin of Cliftonville battle for possession

Daniel Hughes controlled the ball and fired right-footed into the bottom corner for the 52nd-minute opener, then Peter Burke brilliantly pushed away Sean Ward's volley which seemed destined for the top corner.

Andrew Waterworth hammered the ball into the roof of the net with seven minutes remaining, before Roy Carroll made a fine stop from Garrett to keep the sides level.

Lavery bundled in the winner after Garrett's initial effort came off the post, completing a fine move from the Reds which began after Paul Smyth lost possession.

Gerard Lyttle's third-placed outfit are now just one point behind Linfield, while Coleraine move up to fourth after coming from a goal down to defeat Ballinamallard and maintain their unbeaten home league record.

Coleraine players congratulate Jordan Allan who scored his side's equaliser at Ballycastle Road
Coleraine players congratulate Jordan Allan who scored his side's equaliser at Ballycastle Road

Shane McGinty stroked the ball home neatly in the 11th minute against his former club but Jordan Allan restored parity on 20, peeling away from his marker to meet a neat flick on by Jamie McGonigle for his sixth goal of the season.

James McLaughlin put the Bannsiders in front on 73 minutes and Neil McCafferty made the three points safe with a penalty two minutes from time after Allan was brought down in the area.

Ballymena drop to fifth after being humbled at home by Dungannon, who leapfrog Ards into seventh position in the standings.

Leroy Millar's powerful 13th-minute drive put the hosts in front at the Showgrounds, but Andy Mitchell slid the ball home and Jarlath O'Rourke shot low past Ross Glendinning to give their side a 2-1 advantage at the interval.

Kyle Owens found his own net in the 70th minute and Mitchell grabbed his second five minutes with a neat flick past the Ballymena keeper.

Glentoran's Curtis Allen shrugs off Glenavon's Kris Lindsay at Mourneview Park
Glentoran's Curtis Allen shrugs off Glenavon's Kris Lindsay at Mourneview Pa

Johnny Addis, Aaron Harmon and Ciaran Caldwell all went close for Glentoran at Mourneview Park but Joel Cooper put the home side ahead against the run of play when he slammed in his fourth of the season after meeting a square ball from Greg Moorhouse.

Jay Magee equalised with a header which went in off the underside of the bar midway through the second half, with Elliott Morris then denying Cooper with a wonder save and Eric Foley missing a chance for the visitors.

The Lurgan Blues had James Singleton sent-off for a second yellow card offence two minutes into time added on at the end of the game.

At the bottom of the table, Portadown were unable to make up any ground on fellow strugglers Carrick Rangers as the spoils were shared at Taylor's Avenue.

Adam Salley drilled in a low left-foot shot for the opener on 62 but Eoin Kirwan brought the Ports level after 82 with a looping effort after Brian Neeson palmed away Sean Mackle's cross.

Irish Premiership 19 November - Results
Ballymena United1-4Dungannon Swifts
Carrick Rangers1-1Portadown
Coleraine3-1Ballinamallard United
Crusaders1-0Ards
Glenavon1-1Glentoran
Linfield1-2Cliftonville

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