DAVID JEFFREY will be a happy man on New Year’s night after his team fired a warning shot to Cliftonville: We haven’t gone away you know.
Linfield had been struggling for form in the Danske Bank Irish Premier League and even the fans had been questioning whether ‘Big Davy’ should be allowed to stay in post.
But the Blues boss firmly answered his critics in recent weeks and a 3-1 win against table toppers Cliftonville on New Year’s Day should give him a break from his knockers.
Two first half goals from Matthew Tipton and a Liam Boyce strike ten minutes before the break set the match up a cracking second half.
And ten minutes after the break, a Carvill tap in gave Linfield a 3-1 lead and Cliftonville were back on the ropes again.
But Tommy Breslin’s team, who won their last two games despite not hittting top form, were not ready to lie down and attacked Linfield’s defence which was without suspended Winky Murphy.
However, the Reds missed a bagful of chances in the second half which could have not only have salvaged a point but could have helped them win the game.
What’s not good for the Reds is that Crusaders closed the gap at the top to six points after an 85th minute strike by McKeown gave the Shore Road men a much needed win to keep them in contention.
The Reds remain top six points ahead of Crusaders with Linfield in third and Glentoran, who travelled to Coleraine, remain in fourth after a 1-1 draw.
Kane gave the Glens a 1-0 lead at half-time but a Jennings strike on 79 minutes shared the spoils at the Showgrounds.
Donegal Celtic got a deserved 1-0 home win over Glenavon after a 68 minute strike from McVeigh.
But Lisburn Distillery lost at Ballyskeagh by two goals to nil after McCartney and McKee hit the back of the net within the space of a minute.
RESULTS IN DANSKE BANK IRISH PREMIER LEAGUE NEW YEAR’S DAY 2013:
COLERAINE 1 (Jennings 79) v GLENTORAN 1 (Kane 45)
CRUSADERS 1 (McKeown 85) v PORTADOWN 0 (O’Hara s/o 84)
DONEGAL CELTIC 1 (McVeigh 68) v GLENAVON 0
LINFIELD 3 (Tipton 20 & 23, Carvill 54) v CLIFTONVILLE 1 (Boyce 34)
LISBURN DISTILLERY 0 v BALLINAMALLARD UTD 2 (McCartney 78, Kee 79)