Linfield 1 Cliftonville 1
Danske Bank Premiership pacesetters Cliftonville produced another spirited showing last night as they battled back to hold champions Linfield at Windsor Park.
David Healy’s side were looking to follow up their impressive 3-0 win over Glentoran at the BetMcLean Oval on Tuesday night with another big title statement but the high flying Reds kept their unbeaten record intact. Clifonville have made a strong start to the season, boasting five wins and two draws from their opening seven matches and they bagged a point at the international venue thanks to Joe Gormley’s second half equaliser.
The result put them four points clear of Larne at the top before today’s games.
Jordan Stewart blasted the Blues in front on eight minutes and they could have doubled their first half lead had Stephen Fallon or Matthew Clarke converted opportunities.
But they failed to kill the game off and Gormley swooped to head home from Jamie McDonagh’s cross on 57 minutes. Fallon missed a late chance to win it for the hosts.
“Over the 90 minutes I think a draw was probably a fair result,” said Linfield defender Matthew Clarke. “It’s a tough shift from everyone. It’s been a difficult week for us but that’s what we are paid for and we move on.”
Cliftonville boss Paddy McLaughlin said: “When you are at the home of the champions and come back from 1-0 down it’s fair because we dominated possession for a lot of the game.
“We are happy with a point but it could have been better. I think we finished stronger and I’m delighted with the performance. The players were fantastic in the second half.”
Last night’s clash was live on BBC2 and it emerged yesterday that BBC Sport NI has agreed a new five-year broadcast deal with the Northern Ireland Football League and the Irish FA.
Fans will be able to enjoy 30 live streamed Danske Bank Premiership matches and eight live games on TV each season as part of the new deal.
Second placed Larne visit Dungannon Swifts this afternoon.