Neil McCafferty late strike stuns Linfield

Linfield's Sammy Morrow with Coleraine's Joe McNeill
Linfield's Sammy Morrow with Coleraine's Joe McNeill

Linfield 1 Coleraine 1

Neil McCafferty’s injury time free-kick earned Coleraine a dramatic share of the points at Windsor Park.

With the last kick of the game, McCafferty curled a superb right-foot strike from 25 yards into the top corner to snatch a 1-1 draw.

Linfield had led through Andy Waterworth’s close-range finish in the 59th minute.

But after escaping two near misses in the final minutes, the Blues’ luck ran out in the 94th minute.

The late draw sees Warren Feeney’s side toppled off the top of the Danske Bank Premiership by Crusaders.

All the drama arrived following a tepid opening half where chances were at a premium.

Sammy Morrow came closest to breaking the deadlock in the 15th minute, but his header cannoned off the base of the post.

The breakthrough arrived in the 59th minute as Linfield relieved some of the tension around Windsor.

Substitute Ross Clarke picked up possession on the right before crossing to the back post, and Ivan Sproule forced the ball back across goal for Waterworth to finish off from close range.

Michael Hegarty headed inches wide from McCafferty’s deflected free-kick in the 89th minute, and then Ian Parkhill lobbed an effort straight into the arms of Ross Glendinning after being sent clear on goal.

The equaliser arrived in the fourth minute of added time after Sean Ward fouled Shane McGinty 25 yards from goal.

And up stepped McCafferty to curl the ball into the top corner with what was the last kick of the game.

LINFIELD: Ro. Glendinning, Callacher (Clucas 73), Waterworth, Lowry, Burns (Clarke 46), Ward, Morrow (Thompson 62), Mulgrew, Re. Glendinning, Sproule, Quinn.

Subs not used: Tuffey, Carvill.

COLERAINE: Doherty, Hegarty, Ogilby, McCafferty, McGinty, Canning, Mullan, Parkhill, Barton (Miskimmin 65), McNeill, Kane.

Subs not used: Browne, Watt, Lyons.

Referee: Raymond Crangle (Belfast)