Irish League: 10-man Glens make point, but Blues go top ahead of Big Two showdown

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Stephen Fallon opened the scoring

Q Radio Sport

Linfield returned to the top of the Danske Bank Premiership on goal difference after a dramatic night in the title race.

David Healy’s men bounced back from their Irish Cup defeat to return to form in the second game of their double header against Larne. Stephen Fallon opened the scoring in the first half, but his goal was eventually cancelled out by Ronan Hale after the restart.

French talisman Christy Manzinga proved to be the Windsor Park hero once again this season, he popped up with the winning goal on 72 minutes.

Linfield’s assertion back to the summit was aided by Portadown’s late goal to stun ten-man Glentoran at Shamrock Park, as Patrick McClean had been sent off with a straight red for a challenge on Greg Hall in the first half. Conor McMenamin thought he had secured a late winner for the Glens to keep them at the front of the pack, but young Oisin Conaty scored a late, late equaliser to earn Paul Doolin’s side a valuable point in the fight for survival.

Elsewhere, Cliftonville continue to keep the pace in third with a determined 3-2 victory away at Carrick Rangers as Ronan Doherty scored twice and Joe Gormley netted the third to keep the Reds within four points o the top of the table.

In the evening’s final game two first half goals in quick succession for Coleraine was enough to secure all three points at the Showgrounds against Dungannon Swifts. Curtis Allen and Josh Carson netting for the Bannsiders, who also seen Lyndon Kane miss from the spot – as Oran Kearney’s side remain sixth but close the gap on the teams above them.

Crusaders scheduled game against Ballymena United was postponed on Monday evening in line with the NI Football League’s Covid Case policy.

Meanwhile in the Lough 41 Championship, Matthew Tipton took charge of Ards for the first time since his appointment away at title chasing Loughgall. The County Down side won 3-2 at Lakeview Park with two goals from David McAllister, which moves Ards within five points of the promotion playoff spot.

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