LINFIELD extended their advantage at the top of the table to nine points with this ultimately comprehensive defeat of relegation haunted Carrick Rangers.
The Blues started brightly and might twice had opened the scoring when first a Philip Lowry header drifted just wide while the same player skewed the ball off target after being set up by Jamie Mulgrew.
But they did find a way through on 27 minutes after Peter Thompson finished from point blank range after the ball came back off an upright as Lowry attempted to knock home another Mulgrew delivery.
However, Carrick levelled with ten minutes of the half remaining after Paul Heatley took the ball past Albert Watson before cutting it back for Shane Dolan to beat Alan Blayney.
Thompson might have restored Linfield's advantage on the hour after he beat the offside trap to get on the end of a Michael Carvill through ball only to be denied by a double save from Paul Murphy.
Linfield did grab their second on 78 minutes after Daryl Fordyce teed up Jamie Mulgrew to finish into the bottom corner.
And two minutes later Fordyce got on the scoresheet himself from a Lowry pass.
Mulgrew then completed the scoring with four minutes remaining after teaming up with Fordyce to place the ball beyond Murphy.
Linfield: Blayney, Gault, Murphy, Curran, Lowry, Thompson, Carvill, B.J. Burns, Garrett, Mulgrew, Watson subs Douglas (not used), Fordyce (replaced Carvill 76), Ervin (replaced Burns 46), McAllister (replaced Curran 69), Casement (not used)
Carrick Rangers: Murphy, Murray, Bell, Byrne, Lagan, Taggart, Heatley, Hutchinson, Hyland, Harmon, Dolan subs McDowell (replaced Harmon 81), McDermott (not used), Owens (replaced Byrne 75), Brown (not used), Addis (replaced Taggart 81)
- Michael Carvill fends off Grant Hutchinson (Picture: William Cherry/PressEye.com)