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Linfield come from two down to deny Coleraine a return to top spot

Coleraine 2-2 Linfield

By Gareth Hanna

Linfield fought back from two goals down with four minutes remaining to earn a last gasp draw at the Coleraine Showgrounds and deny their hosts a return to top spot.

Jamie McGonigle and Ian Parkhill looked to have sealed the win for the Bannsiders but Andy Waterworth halved the deficit and an injury-time own-goal by Chris Johns levelled the scores.

Coleraine are now level on points with Crusaders at the top of the table, although the Bannsiders have played a game more. Linfield are 19 points off the pace in fifth, a point behind Cliftonville but with a game in hand.

Jamie McGonigle gave Coleraine the lead on 27 minutes, finishing a fine move and the points looked safe on 77 when Ian Parkhill added the second, getting past the defence to beat Gareth Deane.

However, Waterworth converted Niall Quinn's cross on 87 and Linfield were level when former Bannsider Stephen Lowry's free-kick crashed off the crossbar, struck Coleraine keeper Johns on the back and went into the net.

Meanwhile, Larne have missed out on a top six spot in the Championship, dashing their promotion hopes for the season, after a Chris Lavery equaliser earned Portadown a 2-2 draw at Shamrock Park.

Larne are in seventh spot at the split, four behind Portadown. They needed to beat their hosts tonight while hoping Loughgall slipped up against Dergview. Loughgall won 5-1 to secure their top six spot.

Belfast Telegraph Digital

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