Linfield seal Back to Back to Back Premier League Titles with stunning second half comeback at the Oval

Posted : 29th September 2018 at 08:32:30

Congratulations to Linfield Ladies who last night sealed the 2018 Premier League title with the most stunning and sensational second half display at the Oval, turning round a 3-0 deficit at the interval to win a remarkable game by a 5-3 margin.

Over the years the Oval has played host to many classic Big Two encounters and last night’s game was right up there in terms of drama and intensity.

Linfield came into this game needing a point from 3 games to clinch the league title with Glentoran still mathematically in with a chance of the title if They could win 2 games, Linfield were to lose 3 games and a goal difference of 11 could be overturned.

The two teams locked horns at the Oval less than a week after the Windsor Park Irish Cup final which Glentoran won thanks to two goals in the last 6 minutes.

Linfield lined up last night as follows

12 - Jamie Lee Wilson
14 - Kelsie Burrows
3 - Louise McFrederick
6 - Jennifer McDade
5 - Ashley Hutton
19 - Abbie Magee
7 - Megan Bell
18 - Rebecca McKenna
97 - Chloe McCarron
22 - Louise McDaniel
11 - Kirsty McGuinness

Subs

8 - Sarah Venney - replaced Jamie Lee Wilson
24 - Casey Howe - replaced Louise McDaniel
9 - Rebecca Bassett - replaced Abbie Magee
26 - Caitlin McGuinness

Linfield got off to the worst possible start - Mulholland heading in from a Caldwell corner in the 4th minute.

Keeper Jamie Lee Wilson was able to resume after lengthy treatment for an injury.

Kirsty McGuinness came close to an equaliser on 27 minutes. Released by Louise McDaniel, McGuinness fired across the keeper but agonisingly, the ball came back off the post and was cleared.

Glentoran had come close to a second on 13 minutes when a terrific shot from distance by Demi Vance struck the post and rolled along the goal line before being cleared by a grateful Linfield defence.

However, the home side went 2-0 ahead on 38 minutes. A long free kick into the box was headed down into the path of McMaster who bundled the ball home.

Things went from bad to worse for Linfield in the 44th minute when another Caldwell corner was flicked home at the near post by Rachel Rogan for the home sides third goal.

Half time - Glentoran 3 Linfield 0

Linfield made a half time substitution - experienced skipper Sarah Venney replacing injured keeper Jamie Lee Wilson with Louise McFrederick going into goal.

Manager Phil Lewis had a few harsh words to say at half time but what an impact they had in bringing about a complete transformation in the second half display.

Within 4 minutes of the restart Rebecca McKenna fired home a terrific shot from distance into the top corner and the comeback was on.

On 52 minutes Kirsty McGuinness was released one on one with the keeper and the star forward had the class and the composure to slot the ball past the keeper to reduce the deficit to 3-2.

Belief had replaced nervousness. This Was a different Linfield team in the second half as they swarmed over a strong but stunned Glentoran team that had won eight games in a row.

Young Casey Howe came on as sub for Louise McDaniel on 65 minutes.

Glentoran were hanging on but looking dangerous on the break and there was a stoke of good fortune with the equaliser on 76 minutes.

A cross from McGuinness took a wicked deflection off Glens skipper Jessica Foy to leave the keeper totally stranded, the ball in the net and the comeback was complete at 3-3.

A point would have clinched the title but this was a Linfield team that wasn’t going to settle for a point. The momentum was with the title chasing Blues and they went in search of more goals.

Forward Rebecca Bassett came on to replace Abbie Magee.

A deep right wing corner from McGuinness found Ashley Hutton at the back post and she powered home the header to put Linfield 4-3 ahead on 79 minutes.

A stunning comeback was completed on 82 minutes when Rebecca Bassett blasted home from distance into the roof of the net to make Linfield comfortable at 5-3 and the celebrations among the Linfield fans could begin.

Linfield were able to see the game out to clinch the title in style - a stunning 5-3 win at the home of major rivals - Linfield’s first ever win at the Oval.

Linfield player of the Match - Rebecca McKenna

Final score - Glentoran 3 The League Champions 5

Linfield have 2 games remaining - away to Sion Swifts on 10 October and then the Premier League Trophy will be presented at New Midgley Park after the game with Crusaders on 14 October - kick off 1pm.

Make a note - view the BBC highlights of this game at the Oval when they are published online.

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