Irish Premiership: Coleraine stun Reds as Mallard beat nine-man Glens

Irish Premiership: Brilliant Bannsiders stun sorry Reds

Coleraine boosted their prospects of achieving a European spot as they earned a 3-1 win over Cliftonville in the Irish Premiership game at Solitude.

Goals from Rodney Brown and outstanding James McLaughlin put the dominant Bannsiders 2-0 up inside 12 minutes.

Brad Lyons hit Coleraine's third goal on 52 minutes with David McDaid replying for the Reds in injury-time.

Adam Lecky's 60th-minute goal helped Ballinamallard beat Glentoran 1-0 in a game which had three reds cards.

At Solitude, Cliftonville looked to be suffering a hangover following last weekend's defeat by leaders Crusaders, which probably ended any lingering Reds hopes of regaining the league title.

In contrast, Coleraine demonstrated huge appetite for the contest as they ran the lethargic Reds ragged in the crucial first period.

Opening goal-scorer Brown was not scheduled to start but was handed a late call-up after Ian Parkhill was injured in the warm-up.

Coleraine's Brad Lyons rounds Cliftonville keeper Conor Devlin as he is about to stroke in the Bannsiders' third goal at Solitude
Brad Lyons' 52nd-minute goal ended the Solitude game as a contest

Brown grasped his opportunity as he rose to head an Adam Mullan cross past Conor Devlin in the first minute.

Coleraine doubled their lead within seven minutes as the superb McLaughlin turned Johnny Flynn before producing a composed finish.

With the Cliftonville defence looking all at sea, Coleraine wasted another glorious chance to extend their lead as the home sides didn't threaten before Flynn headed wide in first-half injury-time.

Following their insipid first-half display, the Reds did raise their tempo after the restart but contest was effectively over by the 52nd minute as Lyons rounded Devlin to stroke into an empty net after great work by McLaughlin and Ruairi Harkin.

Cliftonville boss Gerard Lyttle introduced Stephen Garrett, McDaid and Jay Donnelly in a triple substitute in the 52nd minute but their superiority in the possession stakes in the remainder of the contest was only rewarded by McDaid's late goal.

Coleraine remain fifth despite the win but they are now only two points behind third-placed Glenavon and Cliftonville.

Ballinamallard boost survival hopes

Ballinamallard players celebrate victory over Glentoran

Ballinamallard United boosted their Premiership survival prospects as their 10 men saw off nine-man Glentoran at Ferney Park.

The Glens were reduced to 10 men when keeper Aaron Hogg was sent off as he conceded a penalty when pulling down the Oval-bound Stephen O'Flynn in the 15th minute.

Substitute keeper Elliott Morris, not deemed fit enough to start, came on to save Jason McCartney's penalty, with Steven McCullough clearing the follow-up effort off the line.

Glentoran's Curtis Allen fights out an aerial duel with Ballinamallard's Emmet Friars
Ballinamallard earned a crucial victory over Glentoran at Ferney Park

James McKenna and O'Flynn went close to putting the Mallards ahead before a melee involving nearly everybody on the pitch just before the break led to Glentoran's Stephen Gordon and home player Johnny Lafferty being red carded.

Curtis Allen headed just wide for the Glens after the restart but Ballinamallard took the lead on the hour as Ivan Sproule's run set up Lecky to score.

Stephen O'Flynn struck the Glentoran bar with a free-kick but the Mallards had to hang on at the finish with keeper Stefan McCusker making a fine save to deny Ciaran Caldwell in injury-time.

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