MILLAR DOUBLES UP FOR THE BLUES
Two Kirk Millar goals helped Linfield keep up their charge at the top of the table with victory over Carrick Rangers at the Loughshore Hotel Arena.
After a quiet start to proceedings it fell to Millar to break the deadlock on 18 minutes when he got the final touch after the ball fell loose after Chris Casement's cross had been deflected onto an upright.
Carrick looked to equalise and might have done so midway through the first half courtesy of Alex Gawne but his low shot was kept out by Linfield keeper Alex Moore.
The visitors came close to doubling their advantage early in the second half only to Jordan Stewart's wind assisted effort to whizz just past the post.
However, on 51 minutes, it was 2-0 when Millar curled a superbly executed 25-yard free-kick past Harry Doherty into the top corner.
Obviously craving a hat-trick, Millar fired just wide soon after before taking the ball past Doherty and into the net only for this to be ruled out offside.
And he threatened again with a header just wide of the target from a Shayne Lavery cross while, in the closing moments, Lavery himself might have added a third for Linfield with a deflected effort off an upright.
Carrick Rangers: Doherty, Carson, Neale, Surgenor, Loughran, Kelly, Magill, Cherry, Murray, Gawne, Anderson subs Nicholl (not used), Faulkner (not used), Ferrin (not used), Smith (replaced Carson 63), Hassin (replaced Kelly 72), McGreevy (replaced Gawne 77), Dunne (not used)
Linfield: Moore, Haughey, Callacher, Waterworth, Cooper, Stewart, Millar, Hery, Mulgrew, Quinn, Casement subs Deane (not used), Stafford (not used), Lavery (replaced Stewart 56), Clarke (replaced Quinn 10), Kearns (not used), Boyle (not used), Currie (not used)