Linfield knock Crues off top with win over Coleraine

Linfield took a win over Coleraine to top the league. Credit: Presseye
  • Coleraine 1 - 5 Linfield

Linfield knocked champions Crusaders off the top of the Irish Premiership table after they came from behind to defeat Coleraine 5-1 at the Showgrounds and Stephen Baxter’s side lost 3-0 away to Ballymena United.

The Blues are now two points ahead of the Shore Road club with just one round of fixtures remaining.

Both sides started the game brightly and with 12 minutes gone, Linfield thought they had taken the lead - but Andrew Waterworth’s effort inside the penalty area was ruled out for a foul on the goalkeeper.

Linfield’s best effort of the first-half fell to Aaron Burns, but he could only send his header over the bar.

Linfield's Aaron Burns heads over the bar. Credit: Presseye

Six minutes after the restart, Coleraine took the lead against the run of play.

James McLaughlin climbed highest from the corner, beating Aaron Burns to head home and open the scoring for the home side.

But the Bannsiders only had the lead for six minutes.

Coleraine celebrate James McLaughlin's goal. Credit: Presseye

Aaron Burns equalised for the Blues with a beautiful curling shot from the edge of the box into the top left hand corner to make it 1-1.

Moments later, Linfield thought they should have had a penalty when Paul Smyth was tackled in the box after stealing possession - but the referee waved play on.

But three minutes later, the Blues had their second.

Paul Smyth touched Niall Quinn’s low cross past Johns in the Coleraine goal to give David Healy’s side the lead for the first time in the game.

Linfield's Paul Smyth celebrates his goal. Credit: Presseye

And, just two minutes later, Linfield went further ahead.

Smyth, was fouled in the box and Aaron Burns duly stepped up to take the resulting spot kick to give Linfield a 3-1 advantage.

Andrew Waterworth made sure of the points in the 75th minute as he converted from close range to make it 4-1.

The same player made it 5-1 in the 85th minute when he headed home Lowry’s cross after Paul Smyth’s penalty was saved by Johns.

Linfield can secure the Premiership title with a draw away to Coleraine next weekend, while Crusaders finish the season at home to Glenavon.