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Page last updated at 16:57 GMT, Saturday, 22 January 2011

Cliftonville 2-4 Linfield


Cliftonville are beaten 2-4 by Linfield at Solitude in the Carling Premiership

Linfield extended their Carling Premiership advantage to 11 points as they recovered from going 2-1 down to beat Cliftonville at a foggy Solitude.

Billy Joe Burns set up Thompson's opener on 12 but a Chris Scannell back-heel and a Stephen Garrett header put the Reds ahead by the 20th minute.

Philip Lowry's angled shot beat John Connolly in the 26th minute before Marcus Kane put the Blues ahead on 58.

After missed Reds chances, Thompson hit Linfield's fourth goal on 80th minutes.

Linfield's purposeful start yielded a deserved 12th-minute lead for the league leaders.

Burns played a one-two with Lowry and after bursting clear of the Reds defence unselfishly squared for Thompson to score.

However, Cliftonville were on terms within four minutes with Chris Scannell's clever back-heel beating Alan Blayney after Peter Hutton had headed down a Ciaran Caldwell cross.

The Reds were suddenly ahead on 20 minutes as Stephen Garrett headed home a Ronan Scannell cross.

But after Thompson had an effort cleared off the line, the goal rush continued in the 26th minute as Lowry's low shot deceived Reds keeper John Connolly.

Connolly appeared unhappy with his defence but the fault for the goal looked to be his as Lowry beat him from a tight angle.

Robert Garrett had a chance to put the Blues ahead before the break but he appeared to reluctant to pull the trigger with his left foot and the opportunity was lost.

During the half-time interval, an abandonment appeared a strong possibility as the fog grew thicker.

But after some deliberation, referee Mark Courtney opted to re-start the game and the Blues regained the lead on 58 minutes as Kane nipped in ahead of the hesitant Reds defence to volley past Connolly.

The Reds had chances to level with Damien Curran's brilliantly-timed tackle denying Stephen Garrett and Ronan Scannell firing just wide.

However, the game was over as a contest 10 minutes from time when Thompson netted from close range after Mark McAllister's mishit initial effort.

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see also
Cliftonville v Linfield photos
22 Jan 11 |  Irish
Five Premiership games postponed
22 Jan 11 |  Irish
Cliftonville 3-1 Linfield
10 Dec 10 |  Irish

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