Irish Premiership: Leaders Coleraine grab late win over Linfield

Coleraine are unbeaten after 13 Premiership matches this season
Coleraine are unbeaten after 13 Premiership matches this season

A late own goal from Mark Stafford saw unbeaten leaders Coleraine snatch a vital 1-0 win over champions Linfield.

It keeps the Bannsiders at the top, one point ahead of Cliftonville and two above Crusaders, who drew 2-2 in the day's late kick-off away to Glenavon.

Joe Gormley passed the 200-goal milestone with a hat-trick in Cliftonville's 5-0 win over Dungannon.

Larne drew 1-1 with Institute while Warrenpoint, under new boss Barry Gray, lost 1-0 away to Carrick Rangers.

For in-form Coleraine, it was a second league win of the season over David Healy's title holders.

At first it seemed that defender Aaron Canning had scored the winner but it emerged that Stafford had got the final touch to the goal that proved the difference as Coleraine edged victory in a tense clash at the Showgrounds.

Ben Doherty of Coleraine in action against Linfield's Kirk Millar
Coleraine's victory meant a third league defeat of the season for reigning champions Linfield

The Bannsiders started assertively with Aaron Traynor failing to connect properly with his header from Lyndon Kane's cross after just two minutes. Moments later, Coleraine top-scorer Ben Doherty tested Rohan Ferguson with a left-footed shot.

Doherty also sent a volley narrowly wide before Bastien Hery struck Chris Johns' post from 25 yards.

Eoin Bradley should have opened the scoring on 20 minutes but was unable to beat Ferguson after shaking off Jimmy Callacher.

Linfield improved after the break but were unable to fashion a clear-cut chance as Stafford's own goal saw Coleraine stay a point ahead of Cliftonville.

Joe Gormley's hat-trick took him on to 201 career goals for Cliftonville
Joe Gormley's hat-trick took him on to 201 career goals for Cliftonville

Cliftonville's record scorer Gormley hit a nine-minute hat-trick in the 5-0 win over Dungannon Swifts.

The first came five minutes into the second half, Gormley reacting quickly to latch onto a flick-on from a Richard Brush clearance to get in between two Dungannon defenders and fire home a low shot.

The landmark 200th goal arrived five minutes later as Gormley ran onto Conor McDermott's crossfield pass, held off defender Callum Byers and then beat Niall Morgan with a left-footed shot.

Goal number 201 came just three minutes later as Gormley swept home a low finish following lovely approach play from McDermott and Ruaidhri Donnelly.

Late goals from Donnelly and Conor McMenamin added the gloss to the scoreline for Cliftonville.

Glenavon boss Gary Hamilton (right) started a league game for the first time since February
Glenavon boss Gary Hamilton (right) started a league game for the first time since February

The Reds finish the day one point above north Belfast rivals Crusaders after they dropped two points away to Glenavon in a dramatic 2-2 draw at Mourneview Park.

Jamie McGonigle fired the Crues ahead on 43 minutes, but the hosts - who had manager Gary Hamilton in the starting line-up - rallied after the break, with Jordan Jenkins sweeping home a fine equaliser before Stephen Murray made it 2-1 five minutes from time.

Crusaders refused to give up, however, and snatched a stoppage-time leveller through Paul McElroy, who slid in to bundle McGonigle's cross over the line.

Larne's patchy run of form continued with a 1-1 home draw against Institute.

Joe McCready opened the scoring on 18 minutes for the visitors from the penalty spot after the striker was brought down by Shane McEleney.

Martin Donnelly's excellent strike brought the hosts level five minutes later but 'Stute held firm, leaving the home side with just one win from their last eight games.

Lloyd Anderson of Carrick Rangers
Lloyd Anderson came on as a substitute to score Carrick's late winner

Bottom team Warrenpoint seemed to be on their way to a first away point of the season - only to fall to a last-gasp defeat at Carrick Rangers.

Substitute Lloyd Anderson headed the only goal of the game to make it back-to-back wins for Niall Currie's men.

Earlier in the second half Carrick's Stewart Nixon saw his penalty saved by Town keeper Berratt Turker.

Warrenpoint are three points adrift of one-from-bottom Institute.

Danske Bank Irish Premiership
Carrick Rangers1-0Warrenpoint Town
Cliftonville5-0Dungannon Swifts
Bluefin Sport Championship
Dergview0-3H&W Welders
Loughgall1-4Ballyclare Comrades
Newry City1-3Ballinamallard United
Queen's University3-3Portadown

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