QUINN STRIKE EDGES BLUES CLOSER TO EUROPE
Linfield took a huge step towards securing European football next season with a narrow victory over Coleraine at The Showgrounds.
The Blues are five points clear in the race for second spot with two games remaining.
Although a scoreless first half, Chris Shields might have found the net early on with a 35-yard drive that Coleraine keeper Gareth Deane did well to turn away.
Further Linfield chances came via Kirk Millar, Eetu Vertainen and Chris McKee but all failed to find the target while, for Coleraine, Matthew Shevlin forced Blues defender Jimmy Callacher to head narrowly past his own post after Conor McKendry had delivered a dangerous cross.
Chances were at a premium after the break with Andy Scott undoubtedly coming closest with a curling effort that forced Chris Johns to acrobatically tip the ball over at full stretch.
But what proved to be the only goal of the game came with just three minutes remaining when Niall Quinn fired through a crowded goalmouth after a Kyle Lafferty cross was only half cleared.
Coleraine: Deane, Kane, McKendry, Carson, Farren, O’Donnell, O’Mahony, McDermott, Shevlin, Scott, Devine subs Gallagher, Mullan, McCrudden, Fyfe, Lynch, Carlin, Gaston
Linfield: Johns, Roscoe, Shields, Callacher, Millar, McClean, M. Clarke, McKee, Finlayson, Fallon, Vertainen subs Walsh, Devine, Haygarth, Mulgrew, Lafferty, Quinn, Annett