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Coleraine 1-3 Linfield

By Alex Gulrajani


infield beat Coleraine 3-1 to move to the top of the Carling Premiership table.

Linfield replaced Cliftonville at the top of the Carling Premiership after this impressive win at Coleraine.

The visitors took the lead through Philip Lowry's low drive just after the hour mark.

The Bannsiders snatched an undeserved equaliser when Stephen Dooley stroked in with just seven minutes remaining.

Jamie Mulgrew fired the visitors back into the lead a minute later before Peter Thompson secured the points in the third minute of injury time.

After controlling the first half, David Jeffery's side finally got their deserved lead when Steven Douglas' shot came back of the post and into the feet of Lowry.

The winger controlled the ball before firing into the left corner.

The Bannsiders were clearly aggrieved with referee Brian Turkington for allowing play to continue after Douglas had fouled top scorer Rory Patterson in the build up to the goal.

Patterson had been uncharacteristically quiet, as Coleraine had failed to test Alan Blayney until they got a surprise equaliser in the 83rd minute.

Gareth Harkin burst down the left flank, found Dooley on the edge of the area and the midfielder took a touch before slotting home to the delight of the home supporters.

And Dooley could have given Davy Platt's side an unlikely lead moments later but scuffed his shot straight at Blayney.

However, the visitors showed their championship credentials by responding immediately through Mulgrew.

The home side failed to clear sufficiently and the ball fell to the midfielder, who volleyed past Davy O'Hare from 18 yards.

O'Hare, celebrating his 500th appearance for Coleraine, was beaten again in injury time as Thompson nodded into an empty net after Robert Garrett's 25-yard free-kick came back of the crossbar.

After the match, Linfield boss David Jeffrey said it had been "hard to reach the top of the table but it will be harder to stay there".

"When you go top of the table is when it gets tough - you have got to withstand the pressure.

"It is a new experience for this team but we will not be getting carried away.

"We have won a game of football and got ourselves into a decent position, that's all."

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see also
Coleraine 2-2 Linfield
08 Aug 09 |  Irish

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