Irish Premiership: Linfield 5-2 Coleraine

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Linfield's Matthew Tipton scores a hat-trick at Windsor Park in the 5-2 victory over Coleraine in the Irish Premiership

Striker Matthew Tipton scored a hat-trick as champions Linfield's recent revival continued at home to Coleraine.

Tipton netted a close-range eighth-minute opener and Brian McCaul quickly made it two with a penalty after David Ogilby's foul on Michael Carvill.

Tipton made it 3-0 but former Blues player Curtis Allen pulled one back for Coleraine early in the second half.

Mark McAllister got Linfield's fourth, Coleraine scored through Ruairi Harkin and Tiptonhad a tap-in for his third.

It means former Portadown striker Tipton, who got his first Linfield goal just a week earlier, had scored six goals in three matches.

He is the first player to score a hat-trick for Linfield this season.

After an injury-hit first half of the season Tipton's form will be a huge boost for Linfield as they continue to give chase to Premiership leaders Cliftonville.

This latest Windsor Park win means David Jeffrey's third-placed side are now seven points behind, but Cliftonville have two games in hand and play Glentoran at Solitude on Monday night.

This looked like a tricky assignment for the champions, unbeaten in their previous nine in the league, but they were two up inside the opening 10 minutes thanks to some poor Coleraine defending.

Tipton was given space to almost walk in the opener and then a bad backpass by Howard Beverland let Carvill in and, when he was chopped down by Ogilby, McCaul coolly slotted in the penalty.

Tipton steered in number three for the Blues in the 41st minute but the Bannsiders scored through Allen's accurate shot three minutes after the interval.

McAllister scored with a shot from the edge of the box in the 53rd minute as Coleraine looked in vain for an offside decision.

Harkin scored with a super finish for 4-2 after the ball broke kindly for him, but the last word went to Tipton as he completed his hat-trick scoring at the back post after McCaul's free-kick from the right.

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