COLERAINE 2 LINFIELD 3
Linfield produced a stunning comeback to pick up all three points at Coleraine.
A double from defender Mark Haughey sealed a valuable win for David Healy’s men, who were 2-0 down inside 15 minutes.
It was a franctic start at The Showgrounds.
Coleraine could have been in front with only 40 seconds on the clock after Ruaidhri Higgins picked out David Ogilby from a free kick on the right, but the big defender could only direct his header wide of the target.
The Blues tried their luck on four minutes as Kirk Millar’s cross found Aaron Burns and he found the crossbar with a powerful shot.
Sixty seconds later the deadlock was finally broken as Ian Parkhill powered a header into the net.
It could have been 2-0 on 12 minutes but for an excellent save by Ross Glendinning, who tipped over Ruairi Harkin’s half volley from the edge of the box.
The keeper was merely a spectator two minutes later though as Brad Lyons unleashed a thunderbolt past him from fully 25 yards, which had the home side in raptures.
The Bannsiders should have wrapped the game up on 28 minutes as the caught Linfield on the break.
Lyons was was taken out by Reece Glendinning but play was allowed to go on by referee Mervyn Smyth, Parkhill slipped the ball inside to the unmarked James McLaughlin, but his shot flew over the bar after he lost his footing.
Coleraine were made to pay for that miss just four minutes later as Linfield reduced the deficit.
Ross Gaynor’s corner was headed home by Aaron Burns as a static home defence watched on.
The second half continued in the same vein with both sides creating chances.
Jamie Mulgrew had two pops at goal just after the restart, before Lyons had a close range effort blocked by Jimmy Callacher at the other end.
On 51 minutes though the visitors drew level as waterworth headed Millar’s cross back for Haughey to head home.
With conditions worsening chances were at a premium.
Linfield went close to taking the lead on 72 minutes, Callacher’s shot was hooked off the line by Lyons though.
With six minutes to go Linfield did get themsleves in front after they were awarded a debatable free kick.
Gaynor produced an excellent delivery though for Haughey to crash home a header from six yards.
Coleraine: Johns, Kane, Mullan, Beverland, Ogilby, Higgins, Harkin, McCauley, Lyons, Parkhill, McLaughlin.
Subs: McCafferty, Brown, Watt, McGonigle, Findlay.
Linfield: Ro Glendinning, Haughey, Callacher, Waterworth, Millar, Ward, Burns, Mulgrew, Re Glendinning, Gaynor, Smyth.
Subs: Bates, McLellan, Kee, Fallon, Quinn.
Referee: Mervyn Smyth