LINFIELD 3 PORTADOWN 2
Ross Glendinning was the hero for Linfield as his late penalty save saw the Blues claim a spirited 3-2 victory over Portadown at Windsor Park.
Glendinning denied Ross Redman in the 91st minute after Jimmy Callacher had brought Mark McAllister down inside the box.
It was a grandstand finish to an entertaining game in south Belfast.
Callacher had opened the scoring in the second minute, but goals from Sean Mackle and Mark McAllister had the Ports ahead at the half-time break.
Aaron Burns - playing his 150th game for the Blues - drew the sides level with a penalty in the 50th minute and Sammy Morrow bagged the eventual winner six minutes later.
The win sees Linfield extend their lead at the top of the Danske Bank Premiership to four points.
They were ahead in the second minute when Callacher ghosted into the box to head home Burns’ cross.
Portadown equalised in the 29th minute with Mackle on target.
Glendinning could only parry Peter McMahon’s initial drive, and Mackle sneaked in to finish off from close range.
The Ports claimed the lead three minutes later, with McAllister expertly heading Redman’s cross into the top corner.
McAllister rattled the bar with another head in the 37th minute as the visitors finished the half strongly.
Two goals in six second half minutes then saw Linfield reclaim the lead.
The Blues won a penalty in the 49th minute when Redman brought down Ivan Sproule inside the box.
Burns’ spot-kick hammered off the underside of the bar and bounced out, but referee Raymond Hetherington’s assistant ruled that the ball had crossed the line.
It was 3-2 in the 56th minute when Morrow rifled Sproule’s cross into the bottom corner.
Portdown were awarded a penalty in the 91st minute when Callacher tripped McAllister inside the box, but Glendinning dived to his left to deny Redman.
LINFIELD: Ro. Glendinning, Richards, Haughey, Callacher, Waterworth, Lowry (Clucas 90), Burns, Morrow (Carvill 83), Mulgrew, Sproule (Millar 86), Quinn.
Subs not used: Tuffey, Glendinning.
PORTADOWN: Miskelly, Ramsey, Redman, Breen, P. McMahon (Conaty 77), Mackle (Mouncey 84), Murray (Twigg 66), McAllister, Gault, Garrett, Lyttle.
Subs not used: Brennan, M. McMahon.
Referee: Raymond Hetherington (Dungannon)