Irish Premiership: Ballymena Utd 1-3 Cliftonville

Cliftonville's Joe Gormley celebrates scoring in the win at Ballymena

Cliftonville have replaced Linfield at the top of the Irish Premiership after a 3-1 win over 10-man Ballymena.

Conor Devlin punched Tony Kane's corner into his own net as United went ahead but the Reds levelled a minute later.

It was another own goal, this time Mark Surgenor diverting Martin Donnelly's free-kick past keeper Aaron Shanahan.

Joe Gormley's penalty, after Johnny Taylor was red-carded for bringing down the striker, made it 2-1 and Donnelly fired in the third to seal the win.

Cliftonville moved to within two points of Linfield by beating the Blues on Saturday and the champions have now edged clear in the title race.

The visitors seized control in the first half and Liam Boyce saw two headers saved by Aaron Shananan.

The impressive United keeper also twice denied Gormley - standing tall to save as the forward broke clear on goal and then keeping out a close-range effort.

The Reds suffered a blow when Boyce was carried off after sustaining an ankle injury.

Ballymena rarely threatened, with a Surgenor shot blocked before the hosts went in front on 44 minutes when Kane's corner swung in under the bar and Devlin could only assist the ball over the line.

Surgenor was the unfortunate player 60 seconds later, Donnelly's free-kick striking his head and finding the net.

The game's decisive incident came five minutes after the restart with Taylor fouling Gormley as he bore down on goal.

A straight red-card for the defender was followed by Gormley netting the spot-kick and putting the Reds firmly on course for the three points.

Heavy rain and strong winds made for difficult playing conditions in the second half, although both sides created openings.

Chris Curran's shot was deflected just wide before Darren Boyce almost levelled when he headed wide at the backpost.

Shanahan was again in action to save from Diarmuid O'Carroll's shot but he could not keep out Donnelly's strike on 81 minutes, the winger firing home from George McMullan's lay-off.