Irish Premiership: Cliftonville move up to third after beating Glenavon

Cliftonville secure a 3-1 victory over Glenavon

Cliftonville moved above Glenavon into third place in the Irish Premiership table after beating the Lurgan Blues 3-1 at Solitude on Saturday.

All the goals came in the second half with Darren Murray nodding the Reds ahead on 48 before Jude Winchester doubled the lead 10 minutes later.

Simon Kelly replied on 87 before Jay Donnelly's injury-time goal.

Coleraine and Glentoran drew 1-1 with Jonathan Smith's penalty cancelling out an early James McLaughlin goal.

Smith rammed home his 77th-minute penalty after Coleraine defender Stephen Douglas had been sent off for a handball offence which led to his second yellow card.

Fifth-place Coleraine remain six points ahead of the Glens.

Reds end losing home run

Cliftonville went into the contest against Glenavon after losing their last three Solitude contests and both sides struggled for fluency in the opening period.

Murray had a chance for the Reds late in the first half but fired tamely at Glenavon keeper Jonathan Tuffey.

However, Murray made no mistake three minutes after the break as he nodded home from close range after Stephen Garrett had headed back a Daniel Hughes cross.

Winchester struck Cliftonville's second goal 10 minutes later with a well-struck low shot.

As the Lurgan Blues frantically attempted to get back into the game, Reds keeper Peter Burke brilliantly beat away a headed effort from Glenavon player boss Gary Hamilton before Kelly did pull a goal back on 87.

But as Glenavon chased an equaliser, the Reds broke away to score a third deep in injury-time as Donnelly rounded Tuffey before planting into the net.

Bannsiders and Glens draw at Showgrounds

Ten-man Bannsiders hold on for point against Glens

James McLaughlin's third-minute goal put Coleraine ahead against Glentoran at the Showgrounds but the Bannsiders rode their luck to hold on for a point after Smith levelled from the spot following Douglas' dismissal.

Curtis Allen hit the Coleraine woodwork twice during the game and also wasted a late chance as he hesitated in front of goal.

McLaughlin fired in his 20th goal of the season with a 20-yard effort after the Glens defence had only half-blocked a Neil McCafferty shot.

The Glens attempted to fight back before the interval and Bannsiders keeper Chris Johns twice denied Ciaran Caldwell.

As Glentoran took charge in the second half, Allen hit the woodwork twice before Smith did level from the spot after Douglas handled.

With the player advantage, Glentoran continued to dominate as goalscorer Smith and Marcus Kane fired over and Allen seemed certain to score before the ball got caught between his feet.

However, Coleraine almost snatched victory at the death as Glens keeper Elliot Morris had to make a great save to deny Jamie McGonigle.

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