Linfield advance to Irish cup semi final
Posted : 2nd July 2019 at 08:13:08
Linfield won last night’s Irish Cup quarter-final 3-1 at New Midgley Park against an excellent Sion Swifts team to join Comber, Glentoran and Crusaders in the semi-final draw.
The headlines were bagged by Caitlin McGuinness, who does not turn 17 until the end of August, as she scored an impressive hat trick to seal the hard fought victory.
Linfield lined up as follows
1 - Lauren Perry
19 - Abbie Magee
25 - Naomi Donnan
5 - Ashley Hutton
14 - Kelsie Burrows
16 - Clare Timoney
97 - Chloe McCarron
18 - Rebecca McKenna
11 - Kirsty McGuinness
24 - Casey Howe
26 - Caitlin McGuinness
22 - Louise McDaniel - replaced Casey Howe
9 - Rebecca Bassett - replaced Caitlin McGuinness
12 - Anna McCleary (GK)
2 - Mia Fitzsimmons
23 - Kirsty Cameron
Linfield took the lead in the 3rd minute when Caitlin McGuinness closed down an attempted clearance by Jamaican World Cup goalkeeper Nicole McClure and the ball ended up in the back of the net.
In an open, end to end entertaining Cup tie between two evenly matched sides, the visitors equalised in the 20th minute when defender McCarter forced the ball home from close range, following a dangerous inswinging corner.
Linfield continued to press and came close to retaking the lead when Caitlin McGuinness headed over, Casey Howe fired a shot just wide of the post and Kirsty McGuinness headed over, while under pressure from keeper McClure.
The visitors finished the half strongly and their comfortable passing game was particularly pleasing on the eye.
Half time - Linfield 1 Sion Swifts 1
The visitors came close to taking the lead when goalscorer McCarter headed over, following a corner.
However, it was Linfield who took a 56th minute lead when Caitlin McGuinness showed skill and composure way beyond her teenage years, to finish coolly past the onrushing McClure in the Sion goal.
The goal gave Linfield confidence and momentum and Kirsty McGuinness came close to extending Linfield’s lead but her terrific shot from distance was superbly pushed behind by the impressive McClure in the visitors goal.
Any Linfield nerves were calmed in the 73rd minute when Caitlin McGuinness was again sent clear in a left forward position and she again showed great technique to slot the ball past McClure to put Linfield into a pleasing 3-1 lead with her impressive hat trick goal.
Casey Howe came close to extending Linfield’s lead but her snap shot cannoned back off the bar and was cleared by the grateful defence.
A terrific goalbound shot from the ever impressive Chloe McCarron was superbly pushed over the bar by Nicole McClure in the Sion goal.
Louise McDaniel replaced Casey Howe and Rebecca Bassett replaced hat trick heroine Caitlin McGuinness, as Linfield saw out the important win against an excellent and strong Sion team.
Electric Ireland (IFA sponsors) player of the Match - Caitlin McGuinness
Ronnie Morrison sponsored Linfield player of the Match - Caitlin McGuinness
Final score - Linfield 3 Sion Swifts 1
Linfield return to league action on Wednesday night when Glentoran are the visitors to New Midgley Park for an 8pm kick off.
A match sponsor is still sought for this huge top of the table game.