Irish Premiership: Linfield 2-0 Cliftonville

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Linfield beat Cliftonville to maintain title bid

Second-placed Linfield sit seven points behind title favourites and champions Crusaders after beating Cliftonville in Monday's Irish Premiership match.

Stephen Lowry scored the opener with a 22nd-minute penalty after a hand-ball decision against Chris Ramsey who blocked Mark Haughey's shot.

Linfield's top scorer Andrew Waterworth made it 2-0 with a close-range finish five minutes before half-time.

Between the goals, Cliftonville's Jay Donnelly missed from the penalty spot.

That penalty was awarded when Mark Haughey lost the ball and then tripped Aaron Haire who had nipped in.

Linfield have won 10 and drawn one of their last 11 matches in all competitions
Linfield have won 10 and drawn one of their last 11 matches in all competitions

Cliftonville fans may feel the first spot-kick award against Ramsey was harsh as he was just a yard or two away when he blocked from Haughey, but referee Andrew Davey indicated the defender's arms had been raised.

After Donnelly's miss - Cliftonville's seventh in their last eight penalties - Linfield's Cameron Stewart saw a show strike the base of an upright.

But then Waterworth struck in the 40th minute. Keeper Jason Mooney failed to deal with a cross, and when Lowry's initial effort was blocked, the striker pounced from just a few yards out.

Early in the second half Waterworth glanced a header wide and saw a shot deflected behind.

From the corner, Ramsey came close to scoring an own goal as he headed against the post.

The top teams have seven matches left in the league
The top teams have seven matches left in the league

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