Coleraine reduced the gap at the top of the table with Crusaders after defeating bottom team Warrenpoint Town 3-0. Crusaders dropped two points as they could only manage a 1-1 draw away to Ballymena United. Linfield get themselves back to winning ways after defeating Dungannon Swifts 4-1 with all four goals coming in the first half of the game.
The league leaders Crusaders travelled to Ballymena United on Saturday hoping to extend their lead at the top and build on last week’s great win at home to Linfield. It was not the greatest of games which saw both teams play out a 1-1 draw. The Crues got the first goal of the game that came through substitute Jamie McGonigle, who converted a penalty. The Sky Blues then got the equaliser through the head of Ryan Harpur. I have to question the squad selection for the Crues: right-back playing left-back, and one of your midfield players playing at right-back – the club has three left-backs on their books and one was on the bench. Strange is an understatement.
Linfield brushed aside Dungannon Swifts 4-1 after scoring all four goals in a first-half frenzy. The Swifts didn’t even turn up for the first half and before they knew it they were one down. Joel Cooper firing the ball across the box into the path of Andrew Waterworth, and the rest is history. The next, an absolute smasher – Kirk Millar running through and chipping the ball over the onrushing Swifts keeper Niall Morgan. Cooper then got himself on the score sheet as he finished low and hard into the bottom corner.
The first half scoring was rounded off by Millar, who rose highest in the box to head home. Kris Lindsey must have given the Swifts a half-time roasting as they came out and got a goal back through Daniel Hughes. But with the scoreline at four and coming up against the leagues tightest defence, it was all in vain for the Swifts. The damage was done in the first half.
Coleraine closed the gap on Crusaders by defeating Warrenpoint Town 3-0 and maintaining the unbeaten start to the league season. Ben Doherty got the first of the game from the penalty spot. Eoin Bradley then made it two with a wonderful free-kick. The game was done and dusted when Ben Doherty got his second of the game and the Bannsiders’ third. Doherty’s initial penalty was saved, but he scored on the rebound. The Point stay in last place after one win and nine defeats. It’s absolutely abysmal reading and they look like relegation candidates already.
Larne travelled to Cliftonville and ended up on the end of a 1-0 defeat. Larne are not getting the rub against the top teams. They have beat Carrick, Warrenpoint, Institute and Glenavon who, in all fairness, are all going through a terrible time. The win keeps the Reds in third place and moving along well. The only goal of the game came late on through Ryan Curran. He fired a great shot from close range inside the box. The Reds should have taken the lead early but the league’s top marksman Joe Gormely missed a penalty.
Last but not least, Carrick Rangers travelled to the Oval to take on Glentoran. The Glens ran out 3-1 winners in this encounter. Rangers got off to a great start by taking the lead through striker Guillaume Keke. It didn’t take the Glens long to draw level. Hrvoje Plum playing a through ball to Robbie McDaid who coolly finished. Plum then got himself on the score sheet by converting a penalty. The Glens rounded off the scoring once again through McDaid when he capitalised on some shocking defending