Chris Casement (90 2)

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Chris Casement celebrates his stoppage time winner (©INPHO/Jonathan Porter)

CELEBRATION AND HEARTBREAK AT THE SHOWGROUNDS

Linfield maintained their nine point lead at the top of the table thanks to a dramatic stoppage time win over Newry City at The Showgrounds.

Marek Cervenka had the ball in the net after just five minutes but the 'goal' was ruled out offside while, sixty seconds later at the other end, Declan Carville tested Gareth Deane from 25-yards with the keeper responding well.

Andrew Waterworth might have found a way through on 23 minutes, turning past John Boyle and moving clear only for the Newry defender to recover well to make a crucial tackle.

Linfield came close again after half-an-hour with a Mark Stafford header from Niall Quinn's corner against the crossbar before, moments after tat, Ryan McGivern turned a close range effort over.

Cervenka then had another effort when he edged past the home defence only to fire over from the edge of the box.

The Blues did have the ball in the net three minutes into the second half when Waterworth glanced home at the near post from Quinn's cross but it was ruled out for offside.

Further chances followed. Quinn saw a set piece well saved by Andy Coleman, Stafford headed over from a Millar corner and Ryan McGivern volleyed a cross the wrong side of an upright.

Newry kept fighting, too, and could have moved in front themselves when Carville was played through into a promising position only for Deane to react quickly to block.

However, just as it looked like the points would be shared, up popped Casement in stoppage time to get his head to Quinn's cross at the back post to nod home the winner to spark scenes of celebration and heartbreak in equal measure.

Newry City: Coleman, King, Boyle, McCann, Carville, McCabe, S. Hughes, M. Hughes, Moody, Lavery, Montgomery subs Maguire (not used), Walker (not used), Teggart (not used), Pender (not used), Healy (replaced Moody 83), Durnin (not used), McCullough (not used)

Linfield: Deane, Stafford, Robinson, Waterworth, Millar, Kearns, McClean, McGivern, Cervenka, Quinn, Casement subs C. Mitchell (not used), Moller Nielsen (not used), O'Connor (replaced Cervenka 65), Stewart (replaced Kearns 65), Forde (not used), Clarke (not used), A. Mitchell (not used)

Referee: Lee Tavinder

Attendance: 902

Tags:  Linfield  Newry City