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Gary Hamilton is mobbed by his Glentoran team-mates following his two goal haul (Picture: Brian Little/PressEye.com)

GLENTORAN 2-0 LINFIELD

A GARY Hamilton goal at the end of each half helped Glentoran to a 2-0 defeat of rivals Linfield at The Oval.

And the double from the NIFWA Carling Premiership 'Player of the Month' ensured the title race took on a fresh impetus with the top four clubs separated by just four points.

Hamilton opened the scoring two minutes into first half stoppage time after David Howland allowed a Stephen Carson delivery from the left fall into his path ten yards out.

Then, in the 89th minute, he made sure of Glentoran's victory when his free-kick was deflected past Blues 'keeper Alan Blayney

Philip Lowry and Rory Patterson went close to equalising in the second half.

Hamilton grabbed his second a minute from the end when his right-foot free-kick was deflected past Alan Blayney by Jamie Mulgrew.

The best chance while the game was still scoreless was perhaps came in the 22nd minute when a Blayney error led to an opening for Jim O'Hanlon only for the Glentoran midfielder to fire into the side netting.

Linfield almost levelled within two minutes of the second half but Philip Lowry's header from an Aaron Burns free-kick lacked the necessary power to trouble Elliott Morris to any great degree.

Lowry failed to make the most of another opportunity on 55 minutes after Morris could only palm away a stinging Rory Patterson left-foot drive while, a quarter-of-an-hour later, Morris was forced to dive to his right to keep out a goalbound Patterson header.

Tags:  Glentoran  Linfield