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FLASHPOINT; Coleraine 1 Linfield 0 - Abandoned after 83 minutes: Two off then Linfield fans go wild.

Trouble flared when referee Alan Snoddy dismissed two Linfield players in the second half.

There were angry scenes on the terraces as Linfield supporters protested about the decisions and bottles and other missiles were thrown.

Referee Snoddy was forced to abandon the game seven minutes from time, fearing for the safety of the players.

There were ugly scenes as bottles were hurled from the unreserved stand after the dismissal of debut striker Lee Feeney and defender Tom McDonald within eight minutes. At one stage the referee took advice from the RUC.

A public address announcement was made warning that the game would be abandoned if missiles continued to be thrown. However those appeals were to no avail and Mr Snoddy called a halt in the interests of keeping the peace.

It was a sad end to a game which Linfield had looked destined to win after an impressive display.

But for all their domination, the Blues trailed to a Sammy Shiels goal after 19 minutes.

Shiels nipped in to angle home Oliver McCauley's cross, pushing the ball past the outstretched arms of keeper Bobby Geddes. Before that it had been a tale of missed Linfield chances. Keeper Wes Lamont made a superb block to deny David Larmour and he did well to hold a curling shot from Feeney.

After Shiels had shocked the visitors with his 12th goal of the season, Linfield continued to apply the pressure.

Only the woodwork denied them when Larmour beat Lamont with a sensational overhead kick from Tommy Cleland's free kick.

Jamie Marks twice went close and then Lamont denied Larmour again.

Coleraine came back into it in the second period but the proceedings were dominated by those two sendings off and the crowd trouble.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Author:Cameron, Grant
Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Date:Nov 30, 1997
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