Jamie Mulgrew helps seal victory for Linfield at Coleraine


Coleraine's Steven Douglas with Linfiled's Guy Bates
Coleraine's Steven Douglas with Linfiled's Guy Bates
Coleraine's Steven Douglas with Linfiled's Guy Bates

It turned out to be a disappointing day in the end for Coleraine against Linfield as they slipped to a 3-1 defeat.

Things had started well at The Showgrounds with the Bannsiders looking the better side for large parts of the first half.

Former Blues striker Rodney Brown nodded the hosts in front on 23 minutes after great work from Brad Lyons.

The lead lasted only five minutes though as Aaron Burns headed in a Guy Bates centre. It got worse for the home side 10 minutes before the break as Matthew Clarke fired in from close range.

They wrapped up the points on 68 minutes as Jamie Mulgrew grabbed a goal minutes after David Ogilby had been controversially sent off.

Both sides had early chances Jamie McGonigle just failed to connect with Ruairi Harkin’s inswinging free kick with three minutes gone.

At the other end Bates glanced over David Kee’s corner 10 minutes later.

Coleraine lost Sammy Morrow to injury five minutes later and it was his replacement, Brad Lyons, who created the opening goal.

He picked up the loose ball before surging down the right, his pinpoint cross picked out Brown, who glanced home a header with 23 minutes gome.

Parity was restored within five minutes though as a poor clearance by Adam Mullan was picked up by Bates, and his cross picked out the unmarked Burns to head home his fifth of the season.

Coleraine came close to regaining their lead on 32 minutes as McGonigle found space in behind the Blues defence, he cut the ball back for Lyons, but his goal-bound effort was deflected away by Sean Ward.

That was to prove crucial three minutes later as Bates again crossed from the left, and this time it was Matthew Clarke who fired in from a tight angle.

Brown came close to grabbing a second on 40 minutes, his low shot was beat away by Ross Glendinning though.

The second half was a scrappier affair with Ian Parkhill’s efforts just affair the restart the only real action of note for a long period of time.

The game burst into life midway through the half as Ogilby picked up a harsh second caution for a foul on Andy Waterworth. The striker seemed to go down rather easily and much to Ogilby’s disbelief referee Tim Marshall produced the yellow card for a second time.

From the resulting free kick subtitute Jamie Mulgrew weaved his way through and beat Doherty at the second attempt.

Coleraine: Doherty, Canning, Mullan, Douglas, Ogilby, Parkhill (Falconer 69), Harkin, Beverland, McGonigle (McLaughlin 76), Brown, Morrow (Lyons 18).

Subs: Findlay, Law.

Linfield: Ross Glendinning, Ward, Hegarty (Reece Glendinning 71), Haughey, Clarke, Kee (Mulgrew 64), Lowry, Millar, Burns (Sproule 81), Waterworth, Bates.

Subs: Deane, Quinn.

Referee: Tim Marshall.