Recalling the Cup Final success that clinched the Clean Sweep 10 years ago

Posted : 28th April 2016 at 08:10:00

As Linfield prepares for a Windsor Park Cup Final on May 7, continues its series reflecting on Cup Final glory from yesteryear.

Below is the match report on a historic Irish Cup success 10 years ago that clinched a famous Clean Sweep.

The Games that made our history

Linfield v Glentoran, Irish Cup Final, May 6, 2006

Conditions were perfect prior to the 2005/06 Irish Cup Final between Irish League Champions, League Cup winners, County Antrim Shield winners Linfield, and a Glentoran team managed by Paul Millar, the current assistant manager at next week's cup final opponents Glenavon. The atmosphere was electric prior to kick off with Linfield supporters dreaming of a win to complete the domestic clean sweep.

Linfield attacked the Railway Stand in the opening half, but it was Glentoran who pressurised more in the opening few minutes. With just over a minute on the clock a cross from the left was put behind for a corner on the left. From the corner Nixon headed goalward from 14 yards but thankfully Mannus got down well to save at the first attempt. On three minutes Lockhart split the Linfield defence, but even Halliday’s outstretched leg couldn’t touch the ball past Mannus who gathered easily.

In the fourth minute Ferguson played a perfectly weighted pass through to Thompson but his shot from 15 yards was touched wide by Morris. On nine minutes it was Morris who denied Linfield not once, but twice. Kearney pulled the ball back from the byeline , Mouncey headed from eight yards but Morris saved superbly. The rebound fell to Ferguson but his scissor kick was turned round the post by Morris. Ferguson was denied again on 21 minutes when his shot from the edge of the box was deflected into Morris’ hands.

With ten minutes to go in the first half Halliday had a good chance to open the scoring, but his 15 yard effort went straight at Mannus. Three minutes later Ferguson repeated the move with his 15 yard shot going straight into Morris’ hands.

Glentoran took the lead on 44 minutes following a goalmouth scramble which saw the ball saved, headed, rebounding off the bar, before Halliday hooked it home at the back post. Incredibly Linfield pulled the sides level in the fourth minute of injury time at the end of the half. Thompson fired home from eight yards after McAreavey played the ball back to him from the back post. An unbelievable finish to the half.


Two minutes into the second half Linfield won a corner on the right. Mouncey played the out-swinger into the box for the unmarked Michael Gault, but the Linfield midfielder headed over from 12 yards. On the hour the ball fell to McAreavey 25 yards from goal. With awesome power Paul fired in a pile driver which was goal bound, until Simpson’s head got in the way and the ball went behind.

On 65 minutes Linfield took the lead for the first time in the game. The Blues were awarded a free kick on the right which McAreavey floated into the box. With great skill, Thompson glanced home a ten yard header to send the Linfield support into ecstasy.

Linfield's 2-1 win clinched the domestic clean sweep! The Irish League, the Irish Cup, the League Cup, and the County Antrim Shield all resided at Windsor Park. It had been a remarkable season and one which will live long in the memory.

For the record the Linfield team line-up that clinched the 2005/06 Clean Sweep by winning the Irish Cup final was : Mannus, Ervin, McShane, Murphy, Bailie, Gault, McAreavey (Hunter, 85), Kearney, Mouncey (McCann, 74), Ferguson, Thompson. Unused sub : Larmour.

Playing for our opponents that day and featured on the official match programme cover below was current Linfield star Sean Ward, along with Linfield's Irish Cup talisman Peter Thompson.

Above - the iconic image of goal scorer Peter Thompson on that never to be forgotten day.
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