Lisburn Distillery 2-3 Linfield

Two Rory Patterson goals helped Linfield stay on top of the Irish Premiership as they held off Lisburn Distillery at New Grosvenor.

Garry Liggett nodded the Whites ahead on four minutes but Patterson's penalty got Linfield on terms after Philip Simpson had fouled Michael Carvill.

Patterson hit his second goal on 20 and Jamie Mulgrew's 25-yard strike extended Linfield's lead before the break.

Neal Gawley's 83rd-minute goal strained Blues nerves but the champions held on.

Carvill and new captain Michael Gault were drafted into the Linfield side after Saturday's home defeat by Glentoran.

However, the Blues got off to a stumbling start as Jordan Hughes was allowed to run down the flank before crossing for Liggett to head the Whites into the lead.

Linfield levelled six minutes later as Patterson scored from the spot after referee Raymond Crangle ruled that Simpson had tripped Carvill.

Patterson was then given far too much room by the Distillery defence in the 20th minute as he cut in from the right wing before firing past Billy Brennan.

After Carvill had volleyed against the woodwork and Mark McAllister missed another Blues chance, Mulgrew did extend the away team's lead by firing a 25-yard shot into the net after being allowed to run from halfway.

The Whites improved in the second half and Gawley had Linfield living on their nerves when he pulled a goal back with an 83rd-minute free-kick.

But the Blues held on to stay on top of the table from Portadown on goal difference.