Linfield seal late comeback win at New Midgley Park
Posted : 27th June 2019 at 00:22:37
Linfield returned to the top of the Danske Bank NIFL Premiership table following this hard fought 3-2 win against Crusaders at New Midgley Park.
Linfield hold a 3 point advantage over second placed Glentoran.
This game was sponsored by Discount Blinds
Linfield lined up as follows
1 - Lauren Perry
14 - Kelsie Burrows
25 - Naomi Donnan
3 - Louise McFrederick
5 - Ashley Hutton
7 - Megan Bell
97 - Chloe McCarron
19 - Abbie Magee
18 - Rebecca McKenna
9 - Rebecca Bassett
11 - Kirsty McGuinness
24 - Casey Howe - replaced Rebecca Bassett
26 - Caitlin McGuinness - replaced Abbie Magee
2 - Hayley O’Donnell - replaced Rebecca McKenna
22 - Louise McDaniel
12 - Anna McCleary - GK
Linfield hadn’t played since a 1-1 draw away to Sion Swifts on June 5 and at the start of this game there was understandably evidence of Match ‘rustiness’
A low key opening came to life with a flurry of activity around the 20 minute mark - a Kirsty McGuinness effort was cleared off the line, Rebecca Bassstt flicked a right wing cross just the wrong side of the post and a Kirsty McGuinness free kick from outside the box was well saved by the visiting keeper.
A Chloe McCarron shot from outside the box was parried by the visiting keeper Mccaughtry but the follow up effort by Rebecca Bassett went agonisingly the wrong side of the post.
On 27 minutes the visitors took the lead. Jessica Rea fired into the net from the edge of the area, as Linfield failed to clear their lines.
Linfield drew level after 42 minutes. A low right wing Rebecca McKenna cross was turned into the net by Kirsty McGuinness as the sides went into the break level at 1-1.
Half time - Linfield 1 Crusaders 1
Amy McGivern gave Crusaders the lead on 48 minutes, as the visitors continued to impress.
A great Megan Bell shot brought out an even better save from McCaughtry as Linfield fought to get back on level terms.
Casey Howe was a 57th minute replacement for Rebecca Bassett and on 61 minutes a fine strike by McGuinness was pushed behind excellently by McCaughtry.
Casey Howe hooked a volley just centimetres over the bar, as Linfield sought a way back into the game.
On 74 minutes Caitlin McGuinness replaced Abbie Magee and in the 79th minute it was a left wing assist from Caitlin McGuinness which enabled Casey Howe to net the equaliser for Linfield.
The comeback for a relieved Linfield was complete on 82 minutes when a left wing Kirsty McGuinnes cross was hooked expertly into the net, first time at the near post by her younger sister Caitlin McGuinness.
New signing Hayley O’Donnell was a debutante replacement for Rebecca McKenna and Linfield came close to extending their lead when a shot from Casey Howe brought out yet another great save from McCaughtry.
Late on Linfield coach Alan Perry was ordered from the dug out for an offence the linesman drew to the attention of the referee.
Crusaders fought like tigers throughout and while this was a game in which Linfield were not at their best, the reigning champions do what champions do in these type of games and that’s find a win when one appears unlikely.
A vital 3 points rescued late on, in a hard fought derby encounter,
Ronnie Morrison sponsored Player of the Match - Kirsty McGuinness
Full time - Linfield 3 Crusaders 2
Photos to follow
Linfield have 2 Games at New Midgley Park as follows next week.
Monday - Linfield v Sion Swifts - Irish Cup
Wednesday - Linfield v Glentoran - Premier League
Sponsorship opportunities remain available for both above games.