A huge week for Linfield Ladies FC

Posted : 17th September 2018 at 07:17:46

On Wednesday Linfield will hit the road to Strabane to take on Sion Swifts knowing a point is needed to secure the Danske Bank NIFL Premier League title.

Linfield currently lead the league table by 9 points with 3 games remaining. The goal difference advantage is plus 23 - ahead of nearest challengers Glentoran who face Cliftonville on Wednesday night.

Linfield’s two other league games are Glentoran away and Crusaders home. There are no dates yet for these games which were both postponed due to the recent World Cup qualifying games.

A huge week for Linfield will be completed on Saturday night with the Windsor Park Irish Cup final against Glentoran.

Linfield’s week started with a professional display against Portadown at Annagh United’s ground. The starting line up saw the one change from Wednesday’s game at Solitude with Caitlin Rae starting in place of Casey Howe.

The line up was

12 - Jamie Lee Wilson
19 - Abbie Magee
3 - Louise McFrederick
14 - Kelsie Burrows
21 - Caitlin Rae
97 - Chloe McCarron
7 - Megan Bell
18 - Rebecca McKenna
22 - Louise McDaniel
9 - Rebecca Bassett
11 - Kirsty McGuinness

Subs

23 - Kirsty Cameron - replaced Caitlin Rae
26 - Caitlin McGuinness - replaced Rebecca McKenna
24 - Casey Howe - replaced Rebecca Bassett

Linfield started strongly and Megan Bell came close to scoring on 7 minutes surging into the box but her shot was just wide of the far post. However, it was Bell who gave Linfield a 10th minute lead, taking a short pass from Louise McDaniel before curling a superb effort into the far top corner of the net.

Linfield continued to press and a 13th minute McGuinness header looped just over the bar and a great shot from the same player was stopped by a great save by the home keeper in the 16th minute.

However, Linfield did double the advantage on 23 minutes when following a short corner the ball broke to Rebecca Bassett who made no mistake drilling home to put Linfield 2-0 ahead.

It was 3-0 on 28 minutes when a McGuinness free kick from wide right was well saved and then cleared off the line but the follow up effort by McGuinness was superbly curled into the top corner of the net.

In the 33rd minute a Megan Bell strike cannoned off the cross bar and was cleared. On 36 minutes McGuinness curled an effort just over the bar but on 38 minutes Megan Bell put Linfield 4-0 ahead when she drove from midfield, before side footing the ball into the far corner with a well taken finish.

Rebecca Bassett curled an effort just wide on 40 minutes but an unfortunate own goal in the 43rd minute made the scoreline 5-0 in favour of the visitors.

Half time - Portadown 0 Linfield 5

Linfield picked up where they left off after the break and a fine Megan Bell 48th minute strike was well saved. On 50 minutes a great left wing McGuinness cross was met at the back post by Rebecca McKenna but her effort came back off the angle of the post and crossbar.

On 53 minutes it was Rebecca Bassetts turn to hit the post with a fine strike that after hitting the post rolled along the goal line before being gratefully gathered by the home keeper.

Further efforts by Bell and McGuinness on 56 and 59 minutes were just wide of the target and on the hour mark, manager Phil Lewis introduced three young Swifts players - Casey Howe replaced Rebecca Bassett, Caitlin McGuinness replaced Rebecca McKenna and Kirsty Cameron replaced Caitlin Rae.

On 63 minutes a great strike from acting captain Kirsty McGuinness cane thundering back off the crossbar but on 65 minutes a right wing corner from the same player was headed in at the back post by Louise McFrederick to give Linfield a 6-0 advantage.

A special moment followed on 66 minutes - Megan Bell broke through midfield before releasing young Casey Howe wide right and the young Fermanagh girl unleashed a fierce shot across the keeper and into the far corner for her first senior goal and one which gave Linfield a 7-0 lead.

Another young sub from the Swifts, Kirsty Cameron struck on 72 minutes to make it 8-0 and a delightful Megan Bell chip on 75 minutes was just over the bar.

The McGuinness sisters combined on 82 minutes for Linfield’s 9th and final goal of the afternoon. Young Caitlin’s right wing cross to the back post was headed in powerfully from close range by elder sister Kirsty. A proud moment for watching mum Andrea, dad Chris and brother Caomhan.

Kirsty McGuinness struck the post in the 84th minute, with the follow up effort by Casey Howe being well saved and on 86 minutes a Chloe McCarron strike was pushed behind for a corner.

In the final minute a Caitlin McGuinness strike was pushed behind and from the resultant corner the same player headed just over.

Full credit to the home team who battled courageously throughout.

Linfield player of the Match - Megan Bell

Final score - Portadown 0 Linfield 9

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