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Premiership

THE LATE LATE SHOW

07 Feb 2021
football
© Stephen Hamilton/PressEye Jimmy Callacher celebrates his stoppage time winner for Linfield
Late goals were very much to the fore on a relatively low scoring but nonetheless significant day of Danske Bank Premiership action.
 
League leaders Linfield relied on a stoppage time winner to defeat Crusaders in the streamed evening kick-off at Seaview.
 
Jimmy Callacher bagged what proved to be the winner in the second minute of stoppage time with a back post header from Joel Cooper's left-sided cross. 
 
The Blues had moved in front on 72 minutes through Niall Quinn but when Stephen Lowry levelled for the Crues on 88 minutes it looked like the points would be shared until Callacher popped up to seal victory for the defending champions.
 
And across the city, at The Oval, Jamie McDonagh performed a similar feat for Glentoran in their 1-0 win over Cliftonville, firing a stunning right-foot effort from distance past Aaron McCarey in the 89th minute. There was even time for a penalty in the closing moments but McCarey did well to palm away Chris Gallagher's spot-kick.
 
Another late goal saw second placed Larne drift a little further behind in the title race at home to Warrenpoint Town. Tiernan Lynch's side got off to a great start when Johnny McMurray handed them a 10th minute advantage with a low drilled finish into the bottom right.
 
However, no further goals were forthcoming until the 81st minute when the visitors levelled courtesy of Daniel Byrne's header from Kealan Dillon's free-kick.
 
At Mourneview Park Glenavon did their business early with two first half goals proving enough to get the better of Ballymena United.
 
Conor McCloskey kicked the scoring off on 18 minutes before Michael O'Connor converted from the spot ten minutes before the break. Ballymena did pull one back through Josh Kelly in the 92nd minute but obviously too little, too late to spark any sort of revival from the visitors.
 
Carrick Rangers picked up a much needed victory with a two-goal triumph over Dungannon Swifts at Stangmore Park.
 
Mark Surgenor knocked home the opener six minutes before half-time, a curling 20-yard finish into the top corner, with Jordan Gibson doubling their advantage on 79 minutes.
 
Meanwhile, in Coleraine, the Bannsiders played out a 1-1 draw with Portadown. Both goals came midway through the second half with substitute Stewart Nixon coming off the bench to open the scoring on 66 minutes before Adam Salley levelled for the Ports just seven minutes later.