Kyle McClean celebrates scoring Linfield's winner (©INPHO/Matt Mackey)
Saturday, 09 February 2019
Linfield fought back from two goals down to defeat Coleraine at Windsor Park and maintain their six point lead at the top of the table.
Coleraine had the better of the opening exchanges when first Ben Doherty and then Jamie Glackin tested keeper Gareth Deane.
Rodney McAree's side then went even closer after nine minutes through Jamie McGonigle who was frustrated when his shot took a deflection against the post before being turned out for a corner.
At the other end Kirk Millar squandered an opportunity for Linfield when he found himself unmarked inside the box only to fire over.
And it was a costly miss when, on 20 minutes, Gareth McConaghie opened the scoring for Coleraine after bundling the ball over the line at the near post after Glackin had turned a free-kick back into the box.
The Bannsiders might have extended their lead towards the end of the first half through Dylan King who failed to direct a free header into the net while Glackin saw a low effort well saved by Deane.
But it was 2-0 on 50 minutes when recent arrival Dean Shiels saw his header creep over the line after meeting Ian Parkhill's cross.
Linfield's fight back began on 58 minutes when Robinson pulled a goal back after Jimmy Callacher had knocked down Niall Quinn's floated free kick.
Then, ten minutes after that, it was 2-2 after Quinn finished off a one-two with Marek Cervenka by firing into the top corner from inside the box.
Andrew Waterworth then had the ball in the net with around a quarter-of-an-hour to go only for the 'goal' to be ruled out offside while another effort, a header, went just wide on 81 minutes.
Chasing the winner, Linfield were then thwarted when Michael O'Connor fired against an upright from eight yards after connecting with a cross from Millar.
Coleraine almost snatched a third goal themselves not long after that when Dylan Davidson's cross found James McLaughlin but Deane was on hand to turn his header over.
However Linfield's winner came right at the end of normal time when Kyle McClean directed a low shot from the edge of the area past Coleraine keeper Chris Johns to put the cap on a dramatic second half.
Linfield: Deane, Robinson, Callacher, Waterworth, Stewart, Millar, McClean, Mulgrew, Cervenka, Quinn, Casement subs C. Mitchell (not used), Stafford (not used), O'Connor (replaced Cervenka 79), Cooper (replaced Waterworth 82), Clarke (not used), Kearns (not used), McGivern (not used)
Coleraine: Johns, Lowry, McConaghie, Parkhill, McGonigle, Canning, B. Doherty, Edgar, Glackin, Shiels, King subs M. Doherty (not used), McLaughlin (replaced McGonigle 72), J. Bradley (not used), Mullan (replaced Edgar 79), O'Donnell (not used), Burke, Davidson (replaced Parkhill 72)
Referee: Shane Andrews