IRISH LEAGUE: Kirk Millar brace helps Linfield to win over Coleraine

Linfield's Stephen Fallon with Coleraine's Adam Mullan
Linfield's Stephen Fallon with Coleraine's Adam Mullan

Linfield 3 Coleraine 0

Kirk Millar’s double strike helped secure Linfield a second place finish in the Danske Bank Premiership campaign.

Skipper Jimmy Caallacher was also on the mark against an off colour Coleraine side, who could yet claim a European slot via the play-offs.

The Blues raced ahead on four minutes with little Paul Smyth sending in a great cross from the right for Millar to power home with his head.

Millar almost did it again 90 seconds later, this time turning quickly inside the box before sending in a rasping drive that goalkeeper Chris Johns managed to tip on to the post.

The Blues struck again on 20 minutes. Once again the visiting defence were all at sea when Niall Quinn flashed in a great corner kick and this time Callacher climbed high above everyone to thunder home a header.

The small band of visiting fans had to wait until 10 minutes before the break to see their team’s first effort at the other end, but Rodney Brown’s hopeful 35 yard drive drifted harmlessly wide.

Linfield ended the half on a high when Millar gobbled up his second goal after Johns had somehow kept out a header from his own defender Lyndon Kane.

Millar should have celebrated a hat-trick on 67 minutes when he got on to the end of a cross from substitute Ross Clarke, but he somehow managed to head the ball over the top.

Callacher almost hit his second goal of the day in the last minute, but his drive, from a Quinn free kick, crashed against the crossbar.

Linfield: Deane, Haughey, Callacher, Lowry, Millar (Lavery 75), Ward, M Clarke, Kee, Fallon (R Clarke 66), Quinn, Smyth (McLellan 76).

Subs not used: Mulgrew, Gaynor.

Coleraine: Johns, Beverland, Mullan, Higgins, Morrow, Harkin (Kanswicher 82), Brown, Watt, McLaughlin (Lyons 52), Kane, McGonigle (Parkhill 58).

Subs not used: Doherty, McCafferty.

Referee: Ross Dunlop (Carrickfergus).