DANSKE BANK PREMIERSHIP: Linfield strike late to deny Bannsiders

Linfield scored twice in the final five minutes to prevent Coleraine moving to the top of the Danske Bank Premiership.

Tuesday, 30th January 2018, 9:45 pm
Updated Tuesday, 30th January 2018, 9:52 pm
Coleraine's Jamie McGonagle opens the scoring for Coleraine against Linfield

Jamie McGonigle and Ian Parkhill had seemingly given the home side all three points.

But Andy Waterworth pulled one back on 86 before a own goal from Chris Johns gave the Blues a point.

The visitors made a bright start, but it was the hosts who carved out the first opening on five minutes but Josh Carson drilled a shot past the post.

Eoin Bradley had a free kick deflected past the same upright four minutes later after he was obstructed by Mark Stafford.

Darren McCauley was next to try his luck on 15 minutes as he found space at the edge of the box, but shot straight at Gareth Deane.

The Bannsiders had a let off on 17 minutes as Johns’ attempted clearance found Kirk Millar, but the midfielder shot wide.

The Bannsiders were denied again on 25 minutes, this time by a spectacular save from Deane who managed to tip away McGonigle’s looping header from a Harkin cross.

The keeper was left helpless though two minutes later as McGonigle fired past him to give the home side the lead after some great build up play.

Into the second half and Stephen O’Donnell dragged a shot wide on 48 minutes after a mazy run from the back, before Martin Smith blazed wide from distance moments later.

The Bannsiders had their keeper to thank for keeping their lead intact midway through the second half. He somehow blocked Andy Waterworth’s close range effort after Casement had picked him out in the box.

And it proved vital as Coleraine made it 2-0 on 77 minutes as Parkhill fired home past Deane.

The Blues made things interesting again though with four minutes to go as Waterworth glanced home a Niall Quinn cross.

And in the first minute of stoppage time they drew level.

A free kick saw Stevie Lowry hit the bar before the ball dropped into the net off the unfortunate Johns.

Coleraine: Johns, Kane, McCauley, Smith, Bradley, Carson, McConaghie, Harkin, O’Donnell, Traynor, McGonigle (Parkhill 71).

Subs: Mullan, Douglas, Kirk, Ogilby.

Linfield: Deane, Stafford, Callacher, Waterworth, Stewart, Millar (Rooney 74), Byrne (Strain 52), Casement, Mulgrew, Mitchell (Lowry 52), Quinn.

Subs: Robinson, Garrett.

Referee: Raymond Hetherington