Ross Lavery scrambled home an 89th minute winner as Cliftonville got the better of Linfield at Windsor Park this afternoon. Ahead through Daniel Hughes' precise finish, the Reds hopes of pocketing all three Danske Bank Premiership points looked to have been scuppered when Andy Waterworth drew the Blues level only for Lavery to pounce for a dramatic late strike in front of a delirious Kop Stand. After a surprisingly low-key opening period, Cliftonville twice went close to making the breakthrough in the space of 60 seconds. First, a surging Levi Ives charge forward ended with Hughes being denied by Jimmy Callacher's challenge and, from the resulting corner, Stephen Garrett smashed a half-volley inches wide of the far post. Linfield's best opening of the first-half saw Peter Burke save from Andy Waterworth before Niall Quinn curled a free-kick harmlessly off target. The deadlock was broken seven minutes after the turnaround when Ruairi Harkin's delivery into the box was partially headed clear by Mark Stafford and Hughes pounced to drive a confident finish beyond Roy Carroll and into the bottom corner. Paul Smyth passed up a glorious chance to level for the Blues when he shot wide after James Knowles had nodded a goalward attempt away following Ross Gaynor's free-kick, while Burke made an outstanding fingertip save to prevent Sean Ward finding the net. After Harkin went close to doubling the visitors' lead, Linfield equalised on 79 minutes when Waterworth followed up to rifle home after Burke had done well to repel Stafford's acrobatic attempt. Cliftonville reacted well to that setback and looked the more likely side to go on and win the game but looked to have wasted their best chance of doing so when Garrett's close-range effort was turned behind by the alert Carroll in the closing minutes. There was still time, however, for one last opening - and this time the Reds got the job done. After seizing possession from Smyth, Jason McGuinness fed Tomas Cosgrove wide on the right and carried his own run into the penalty area. Although the full-back's delivery did not reach him, it fell favourably for Garrett, whose effort was superbly blocked on the line by Stafford, who could do nothing to prevent Lavery from netting just as the contest ticked into injury-time.
Labour of Lav
Linfield 1-2 Cliftonville
James Knowles battles with Stephen Lowry; Ruairi Harkin sticks tight to Paul Smyth and (right) Ross Lavery reacts after scrambling the Reds' late winner
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Jason Mooney Caoimhin Bonner Chris Curran Ryan Catney Ross Lavery
  
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Peter Burke Jaimie McGovern Levi Ives Jason McGuinness James Knowles Davy McDaid Stephen Garrett Daniel Hughes Ruairi Harkin Jude Winchester Tomas Cosgrove