Programme editorial

Posted : 23rd February 2019 at 06:12:52

Congratulations to the players, staff and management, following their success in last week’s Windsor Park League Cup final. The 1-0 win was a great occasion for the crowd in attendance, as well as those watching at home on the Sky Sports network and our players deserve immense credit and praise for the battling qualities they displayed to emerge victorious, particularly after withstanding sustained second half pressure from our opponents. The win ensured the famous old trophy returned to the Windsor Park trophy cabinet after a long 11 year absence and the boost that this trophy success has given everyone at the club can help to maintain momentum, confidence and hunger over the closing weeks of the campaign.

The comeback 3-2 win against Coleraine in our previous league game helped maintain our pleasing position at the top of the table and it was a win that was achieved in dramatic last-gasp fashion. Trailing 2-0 and seemingly destined to lose valuable points, Linfield showed traditional never-say-die resilience and character to fight back to score a vital last minute winner from loan signing Kyle McClean. While the win was enjoyable and important, David Healy has reminded his players that there is a long way to go in the league campaign and every single point will have to be earned and Ballymena United, our visitors today, have shown that they are more than capable of mounting a serious title challenge over the coming weeks.

A warm Windsor Park welcome to the players, management, directors, staff and supporters of Ballymena United for today’s hugely anticipated top of the table game. All the previous games between our two clubs this season have been closely contested (2-1 home league wins for both Linfield and Ballymena and a 2-1 win for Linfield in the County Antrim Shield and last week’s 1-0 win for Linfield in the League Cup final). Today’s game is expected to be just as evenly contested and hard-fought and Linfield will have to be in very top form, if the vital League points on offer today are to be secured.

The County Antrim Shield Final between Linfield and Crusaders, postponed at Ballymena on February 5, has been rearranged, after a coin toss, for Seaview at 7.45pm on Tuesday March 12. Tickets bought for the original game remain valid, although only the first 541 supporters wanting to gain access to the stand behind the goal will be able to do so.

Congratulations to Linfield manager David Healy who was named January manager of the month by the Football Writers, after a month in which Linfield won every game played.

Linfield will travel to Newry City on Tuesday night for a 7.45pm kick-off in the Premier League and on Friday March 8, Linfield will take on Glenavon in a league game broadcast live on the BBC from Mourneview Park.

Supporters are encouraged to book their place at the club’s annual gala awards evening at the Crowne Plaza Hotel on May 11. Full details are elsewhere in today’s publication.

Best wishes to the Linfield Rangers team who will take on Coleraine Under 18s in the Youth Cup semi-final in Ballyclare on March 4.

Linfield’s League game away to Dungannon on March 23 has been brought forward to Friday March 22 and will be broadcast live on BBC.
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