IRISH LEAGUE: Lavery scores priceless winner as Reds clinch late win at Windsor

Cliftonville's Ross Lavery celebrates scoring the winner against Linfield during Saturdays Danske Bank Premiership game at the National Stadium at Windsor Park.  Photo by William Cherry/Presseye
Cliftonville's Ross Lavery celebrates scoring the winner against Linfield during Saturdays Danske Bank Premiership game at the National Stadium at Windsor Park. Photo by William Cherry/Presseye
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Linfield 1, Cliftonville 2

Substitute Ross Lavery grabbed a priceless winner to shoot Cliftonville back into Danske Premiership contention.

The 20 year old struck the decisive blow in the last minute to send the Red Army into raptures.

Daniel Hughes shot the Reds into the lead early in the second half, but Andy Waterworth levelled with only 10 minutes left.

It was left to Lavery to settle it. The first half may have been a bore, but the second was a thriller.

Blues boss David Healy not surprisingly named the same team that demolished Dungannon Swifts last weekend.

His opposite number Gerard Lyttle reshuffled his pack after the midweek League Cup quarter final defeat at Glenavon -- their first loss in that tournament since December 2011 -- drafting in Stephen Garrett, Daniel Hughes and Ruairi Harkin in place of Marty Donnelly, Chris Curran and Ryan Catney.

The opening half was far from a classic. Jamie Ward shot wide for the home team following a neat build up featuring Ross Gaynor and Andy Waterworth before the Reds broke with menace at the other end with Levi Ives’ piercing run creating a chance for Daniel Hughes, but defender Jimmy Callacher got in a telling block.

the Reds almost broke the deadlock on 23 minutes with Jude Winchester’s corner kick fell to Garrett, whose volley inched past the post.

Cliftonville’s Peter Burke was forced into action 10 minutes before the break when Andy Waterworth’s solo dash let Ives in his wake and whey he let fly, the Reds goalkeeper produced a wonderful response.

Linfield upped the tempo as the clock ticked down and they almost stole the lead with the final kick of the half. Stephen Lowry was brought down by a clumsy challenge from James Knowles 30 yards out. Niall Quinn stepped up to curl a great free kick over the wall, but it scraped past the post with Burke beaten.

But it was the Reds that broke the deadlock on 51 minutes. Mark Stafford’s headed clearance fell for Hughes and he wasted no time in blasting low past Carroll.

Linfield tried to respond with Gaynor’s free kick flicked on by Callacher for Paul Smyth, who blasted high and wide before Sean Ward hoofed a shot wide following Mark Haughey’s long throw in.

But the Blues levelled with only 11 minutes left. Paul Smyth’s shot was brilliantly saved by Burke, with Ives sweeping the loose ball off the line, but Waterworth pounced to ram home.

But it was substitute Lavery struck the winner with only 60 seconds left.

Smyth was caught in possession and the Reds took advantage. They broke quickly on the right and when Tomas Cosgove delivered the ball into the box, Laverty turned it past Carroll.

Linfield: Carroll, Stafford, Haughey, Callacher (Burns 75), Waterworth, Lowry (Clarke 59), Ward, Mulgrew, Quinn, Gaynor (Millar 59), Smyth.

Unused subs: Casement, Fallon.

Cliftonville: Burke, McGovern, Ives, McGuinness, Knowles, McDaid (Catney 77), Garrett, Hughes (Curran 72), Harkin, Winchester (Lavery 67), Cosgrove.

Unused subs: Bonner, Mooney.

Referee: Raymond Crangle (Belfast).