LINFIELD 5 ARDS 2
Linfield remain four points clear at the top of the Danske Bank Premiership after Saturday’s 5-2 victory over Ards.
Goals from Niall Quinn (2), Michael Carvill, Matthew Tipton and Kyle McVey broke down the resistance of Niall Currie’s spirited visitors at Windsor Park.
William Faulkner had given Ards a shock lead after only 73 seconds, while Ben Roy’s second half goal made the scoreline 3-2 before Linfield’s late flurry.
Ards broke the deadlock in the second minute with a superb strike from Faulkner.
The midfielder was afforded time and space before unleashing an unstoppable shot from 25 yards that nestled in the corner of Jonathan Tuffey’s net.
Parity was restored in the 11th minute when Quinn’s curling free-kick deceived Graeme McKibben, the Ards goalkeeper only managing to palm the ball into his own net.
Linfield claimed the lead in the 41st minute with Carvill pouncing on a misplaced pass from Andy Smith before rounding McKibben and tapping into the empty net from an acute angle.
Linfield extended their lead in the 49th minute after Jamie Mulgrew was fouled inside the box by McKibben.
Up stepped Tipton to coolly convert from the spot.
Ards wouldn’t lie down, and on 66 minutes it was 3-2 with substitute Roy on target.
Kyle McVey failed to clear McClelland’s low cross, and Roy lofted a shot high into the Linfield net.
Linfield regained their two-goal advantage in the 71st minute with a fantastic free-kick from Quinn - the defender curling a sublime effort around the wall and into the bottom corner.
And with nine minutes remaining McVey made it 5-2 when he headed home Quinn’s corner.
LINFIELD: Tuffey, McVey, Gault (Knowles 84), Waterworth, Carvill, BJ Burns, A. Burns (Lowry 58), Ward, Tipton (McAllister 73), Mulgrew, Quinn.
Subs not used: McMenamin, Glendinning.
ARDS: McKibben, Hall, McCullough, Davidson, Cully, Faulkner (Henderson 45), Smith, Gibson, Dougan (Roy 60), McClelland, Mitchell (McDowell 80).
Subs not used: Gordon, Cully.
Referee: Tim Marshall (Irvinestown)