Irish Premiership: Linfield cut gap with victory over Ards

Andrew Waterworth celebrates his 100th goal for Linfield in the Windsor Park win over Ards
Andrew Waterworth celebrates his 100th goal for Linfield in the Windsor Park win over Ards

Andrew Waterworth scored his 100th goal for Linfield in a 5-1 win over Ards which moved the Blues to within four points of leaders Crusaders.

Cameron Stewart, Kirk Millar, Stephen Lowry and Aaron Blues were also on target for the Windsor Park hosts.

Coleraine edged Glenavon 2-1 to go third at the expense of Cliftonville, who drew 2-2 with Dungannon Swifts.

Portadown slipped further towards the drop by losing 3-2 at Carrick and Glentoran beat 10-man Ballymena 4-2.

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Linfield boss David Healy said this was a must-win game to keep title hopes alive and his team delivered with a comfortable three points.

Stewart headed in the opener and Guillaume Keke fired home to level before the Blues moved clear.

Millar steered in to restore the lead and Waterworth's close-range finish brought up his landmark just before the break.

Blues dominate at Windsor

A composed Stephen Lowry strike made it 4-1 and Ards defender Johnny Taylor was sent-off before Burns sealed victory in added time.

It's looking bleak for Portadown after defeat in the bottom-two battle with Carrick left them 14 points behind Rangers.

A goal blitz at the end of end of the first started with an own goal by Portadown's Matt Hazley followed by a Marcio Soares leveller.

Martin Murray's blistering long-range strike restored Carrick's advantage, only for Soares to equalise again and leave it 2-2 at the break.

TJ Murray settled it with a fortunate cross which flew over everyone and into the top corner of the Ports net.

Coleraine fought back from an early Joel Cooper goal to defeat Glenavon at Mournview Park.

Jamie McGonigle's double leaves the Bannsiders two points clear in third place, which would secure qualification for Europe.

Glenavon keeper Jonathan Tuffey dives in vain as Coleraine striker Jamie McGonigle finds the bottom corner
Glenavon keeper Jonathan Tuffey dives in vain as Coleraine striker Jamie McGonigle finds the bottom corner

It was a frustrating afternoon for Cliftonville, who led through Aaron Haire;s opener before Swifts striker Andrew Mitchell netted twice in two minutes.

Daniel Hughes equalised with a second-half header but the Reds slipped to fourth after having to settle for a point.

The entertainment at the Ballymena Showgrounds included six goals, a hat-trick and a dismissal, with Glentoran coming out on top.

Allen hits treble

Allen's penalty put the Glens in front and the goal was quickly followed by Cathair Friel being red-carded for striking Marcus Kane on 33 minutes.

Johnny Flynn levelled for the 10-man Sky Blues from a Tony Kane free-kick before the visitors finally made the extra count.

Allen fired into the bottom corner to make it 2-1 and completed his treble after Glens midfielder Steven Gordon headed in.

Conor McCloskey scored a late consolation for United, who remain in fifth but are now six points off a top-three spot.

Danske Bank Irish Premiership
Ballymena UnitedGlentoran
Carrick Rangers3-2Portadown
Dungannon Swifts2-2Cliftonville
Glenavon1-2Coleraine
Linfield5-1Ards

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