IRISH LEAGUE: Cliftonville move second after victory at Linfield

Linfield's Andrew Waterworth with Cliftonville's Jude Winchester
Linfield's Andrew Waterworth with Cliftonville's Jude Winchester


Jay Donnelly hit a crucial winner in this this Danske Premiership clash

He swept the ball home with only 17 minutes left to send the visiting fans into raptures.

His goal helped take Cliftonville into second place in the table -- it also maintained the Reds impressive run of result over Linfield, who now haven’t won a league game since January 2013 against the north Belfast team.

David McDaid shot the visitors into the lead in the first half, but an Andy Waterworth blockbuster sent the teams in for the half-time cuppa level.

It was left to Jay Donnelly to win it with a neat finish 17 minutes from time.

Blues boss David Healy Healy made four changes to the team after last week’s defeat at home to Crusaders, drafting in Kirk Millar, Sean Ward, Matthew Clarke and Kavid Kee, with Reece Glendinning, Aaron Burns, Ivan Sproule and the injured Stephen Lowry making way.

Reds boss Gerard Lyttle also had to reshuffle his pack due to an injury to defender Johnny Flynn, while young full-back Levi Ives was on Northern Ireland Under-21 duty.

Caoimhin Bonner and Fra Brennan were handed starting slots.

Blues defender Mark Haughey found himself in the firing line for the second successive week as his was his error that gifted Cliftonville the opening goal.

He messed up against Cruaders only seven days earlier, this time he stuck out a hand to deflect away a Caoimhin Bonner flick on 12 minutes and Referee Andrew Davey, under the eyes of World Cup referee Howard Webb, who was assessing the officials, had no hesitation in awarding a penalty kick.

McDaid stepped up to ram the ball into the bottom corner, in spite of a desperate attempt by goalkeeper Ross Glendinning to paw it past the post.

But the Blues hit back within nine minutes -- and what a strike it was.

Waterworth took off an a stunning solo dash, leaving Ryan Catney in his wake, before firing in an stunning 20 yard drive the flashed past a startled Conor Devlin.

But Jay Donnelly had the final say, ramming home the winner with 13 minutes left following a great pass from Tomas Cosgrove.

Linfield: Glendinning, Haughey, Callacher, Waterworth, Bates, Millar (Smyth 75), Ward, Clarke (Sproule 84), Kee, Mulgrew, Quinn (Burns 75).

Subs not used: Deane, Hegarty.

Cliftonville: Devlin, McGovern, Bonner, Curran, McDaid (Garrett 80), Donnelly, Brennan, Catney, Winchester (Knowles 61), Donnelly, Cosgrove.

Subs not used: McMullan, George, Murray.

Referee: A Davey (Bangor).