A last gasp penalty by George McMullan spared Cliftonville’s blushes on Saturday.
The Reds spent the game chasing Portadown whose tails were up for their home match at Shamrock Park.
The Ports were 2-0 up with goals from Braniff and Murray by the 48th minute before Cliftonville found their shooting boots.
Keeper Devlin had kept the Reds in the game with a number of first half saves and they went into the break 1-0 down.
Gormley got his 14th goal of the season for Cliftonville on 56 mins and 12 minutes later Barry Johnston equalised and set up a fascinating last ten minutes.
But the Ports weren’t going to give up and Braniff put the homeside ahead on 86 minutes and looked like the Reds were going to suffer the first defeat in the league.
But a minute before the 90 minutes were up, Cliftonville were awarded a penalty and McMullan slotted it home.
It was two points dropped but Cliftonville remain top of the table.
Their closest rivals Crusaders suffered an early scare when they went down 1-0 at home to Ballinamallard.
However, in the second half, the Shore Road men showed their class and two superb strikes from Jordan Owens kep the team in close contention with Cliftonville and the gap is now narrowed to five points.
David Jeffries blushes were spared at Ballyskeagh with a 82nd minute Browne goal got the team a point.
But there is still unrest among the fans, adding to mounting speculation about the manager’s future at Windsor Park.
One Linfield fan tweeted: “No pride, no passion, no skill, no movement…. There’s Nothing there. Write this season off as a disaster.
Another tweeted: “DJ has lost his players. Write this season off as a disaster.”
Donegal Celtic secured a deserved victory at home against Co Antrim Shield winners Ballymena.
The Ballymena blue men looked lack lustre across the park and may have been suffering the effects of a hard match against Linfield on Wednesday night at the Oval to win the Shield.
A 36th minute Dolan goal give DC the much needed three points as they battle to moved out of the bottom three.
COLERAINE 0 Beverland s/o 82 GLENAVON 2 Martyn 20, McGrory 80
CRUSADERS 2 Owens 46, 68 DUNGANNON SWIFTS 1 Cahoon 21
DONEGAL CELTIC 1 Dolan 36 BALLYMENA UTD 0
GLENTORAN 2 Clarke 6, Howland 17 BALLINAMALLARD 1 McKenna 32
LISBURN DISTILLERY 1 Forsythe 41, Trainor s/o 74 LINFIELD 1 Browne 82
PORTADOWN 3 Braniff 20 & 86, Murray 48 CLIFTONVILLE 3 Gormley 56, Johnston 78, McMullan pen 89