Irish Premiership: Linfield 2-2 Cliftonville

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Murray magic gives Reds draw at Linfield

Cliftonville substitute Martin Murray scored twice in the last 15 minutes as the Reds came from two goals down to draw with Linfield at Windsor Park.

The hosts dominated the first half and Aaron Burns blasted home an early penalty before captain Jamie Mulgrew nodded in from close range.

Cliftonville improved after the break and Murray flicked in before slotting home an 88th-minute equaliser.

The draw leaves Linfield three points behind leaders Crusaders.

Linfield were on course to cut the gap to just one point after controlling the first half and going in with a deserved 2-0 advantage.

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Linfield manager Warren Feeney sees his title-chasing side drop two precious points as they draw at home to Cliftonville.

Burns blasted high into the net from the spot on six minutes after a a foul on Andrew Waterworth and Ross Clarke shot wide before Mulgrew added the second.

The skipper completed a fine move after 20 minutes, with Niall Quinn supplying the pinpoint cross and Mulgrew heading back across goal and past keeper Peter Cherrie.

Waterworth lobbed wide from 20 yards while Jay Donnelly saw his shot deflected wide by keeper Ross Glendinning in a rare Reds attack.

The momentum changed in the second half, with the hosts sitting back and allowing the champions back into the game.

Donnelly fired over as the Reds pressed although Linfield remained dangerous with Waterworth and Clarke both going close.

Murray pulled one back on 75 minutes, going through and sliding a shot past Glendinning with the ball hitting a post before going in.

The winger completed the comeback with two minutes left by poking home from Gormley's cross.

Both sides had chances to win it in a frantic finale, with Waterworth shooting straight at Cherrie in the last action of the game.

Cliftonville are still well off the title pace, 11 points behind Crusaders with their hopes of a third straight league crown fading.

"In fairness we were awful in the first half but we changed formation and after we got one back we thought we could go on to win," said Reds assistant manager Peter Murray.

"Marty came on an grabbed his opportunity and we will keep going until it is mathematically impossible for us not to win the title."

Martin Murray runs away in celebration after scoring the equaliser against Linfield
Martin Murray runs away in celebration after scoring the equaliser against Linfield

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