30th September 2017
Irish Premier League
Linfield Scorers :
Burns 15', 68' pen
Cliftonville Scorers :
Curran 80’, J.Donnelly 86’, Breen 91’
Linfield Yellow Cards :
Millar, Mulgrew, Garrett, J.Stewart
Cliftonville Yellow Card :
Linfield Team :
Carroll (GK), Casement, Haughey, Stafford, Quinn, Garrett, Mulgrew ©, Millar (Mitchell 77’), Burns, Rooney (Strain 45’), J.Stewart (Lowry 58’)
Linfield Subs not used :
Cliftonville Team :
Neeson (GK), Cosgrove (Harney 35’), McGovern, Breen, Ives, Curran, Bagnall, Winchester (S Garrett 69’), Lavery (J.Donnelly 63’), Gormley, R.Donnelly
Cliftonville Subs not used :
Long, D Hughes
Linfield were on the wrong end of a five-goal thriller at Solitude this afternoon as Cliftonville netted three late goals to win 3-2, after Linfield led 2-0 through a double from Aaron Burns.
Despite the North Belfast side shading the early stages, Linfield struck the opener after a quarter of an hour as Chris Casement delivered an inch-perfect cross to put it on a sixpence for Aaron Burns to arrive at the back post and side-foot the ball into the back of the net.
Barry Gray’s team should have bagged an equaliser minutes later when Rory Donnelly created space down the right side before pulling the ball across the penalty area for Joe Gormley, waiting in space, only to fluff his lines, firing the ball high and wide.
Birthday Boy Roy Carroll was called into action minutes before the break as Gormley raced through on goal to reach Chris Curran’s through ball, only for Carroll to rush out quickly to block Gormley’s attempted lob. The ball finally rebounded out to Ross Lavery on the left side, however his low driven shot whistled just wide of the far post.
Linfield went close to doubling their advantage with the final action of the half, Chris Casement curling a free-kick just wide from 20 yards after Mulgrew was brought down by Jaimie McGovern.
Half Time: Cliftonville 0 Linfield 1
Gormley passed up another opportunity early in the second half when he fired straight at Carroll after doing so well to turn inside the box.
Goalscorer Burns brought the ball down inside the box before showing quick feet to turn, only to be brought down by Jamie Harney and referee Raymond Hethrington pointed to the spot without hesitation. Burns took responsibility from the spot, smashing the ball home down the middle. Cliftonville ‘keeper Brian Neeson managed to get a hand to the ball but was beaten by the sheer power as Burns netted his and Linfield’s second to make it 2-0.
The Reds got themselves a lifeline with ten minutes remaining when the ball dropped invitingly for winger Chris Curran on the edge of the box and he hammered the ball into the corner.
Cliftonville then netted an equaliser on 85 minutes when Chris Curran drove to the byline before digging out a cross for substitute Jay Donnelly to head the leveller at the back post.
The home end erupted when Cliftonville notched a 91st minute winner to complete their comeback, Chris Curran once again the provider, firing the ball in with pace for Garry Breen to nod the ball in after arriving at the front post.
Full Time: Cliftonville 3 Linfield 2
LinfieldFC.com Man of the Match: Robert Garrett