Cliftonville stormed to the top of the Danske Irish Premiership with a 5-1 victory at high-flying Coleraine, the first time they have beaten the Bannsiders in fourteen matches.
Coleraine entered the game full of confidence and were the early pace setters in the league but Tommy Breslin’s men produced a four goal second half display that, while harsh on the home side, was reward for the Reds dominance.
Barry Johnston scored the pick of the goals, pouncing on a poor clearance by Michael Doherty in the Coleraine goal, then lobbing it over the hopelessly stranded keeper from fully 40 yards.
The result puts the North Belfast side above Ballymena United on goal difference after the Sky Blues eased to victory over bottom side Lisburn Distillery with a goal in each half.
Crusaders lie in third position, one point behind the leaders, and have a Timmy Adamsen double to thank for their 2-1 victory over the impressive newcomers to the league, Ballinamallard United.
The Fermanagh side looked to be continuing their fine start to life in the premiership when Mark Stafford headed them into a first half lead but then Adamsen came to Crues rescue with goals in either half.
It’s not often that confrontations between the league’s “Big Two”, Glentoran and Linfield, are mid-table clashes but a relatively slow start to the campaign by the sides, particularly champions Linfield, meant that this time it was fifth against eighth at the Oval.
And that’s the way it stayed as the teams played out a1-1 draw in front of a large and vocal support for both sides.
Andrew Waterworth gave the Glens the lead after six minutes when he converted a Jim O’Hanlon cross from close range. The lead lasted until the hour mark when Billy Joe Burns equalised for the visitors and though both sides had chances to win in the closing stages a draw was a fair result on the balance of play.
For the second week in a row Portadown conceded in injury time, on this occasion sacrificing two points when Joshua Cahoon’s late strike cancelled out Danny Murray’s 80th minute opener, ensuring that Dungannon Swifts maintain their unbeaten record in this year’s league campaign.
In the weekend’s final fixture Donegal Celtic recovered from a goal down to equalise late on against Glenavon who were reduced to ten men when Mark Haughey was sent off for denying a clear goal scoring opportunity.