Match Details
Season :
2018/2019
Date :
8th December 2018
Competition :
Irish Premier League
Venue :
Windsor Park
Referee :
Andrew Davey
Linfield Scorers :
Cooper (11'), Callacher (13'), Robinson (48'), Stewart (55')
Crusaders Scorer :
P Lowry (66-')
Linfield Yellow Cards :
Stewart, O'Connor
Crusaders Yellow Cards :
Caddell, Heatley
Teams
Linfield Team :
Carroll (GK), Casement, Robinson, Callacher, Quinn, Millar, Mulgrew (C), (Mitchell 66'), Fallon, Cooper (M Clarke 70'), Stewart, Waterworth (O'Connor 75)
Linfield Subs not used :
Deane, Forde, Garrett, Reynolds
Report
Linfield turned in their best performance of the season, as they emphatically overcame Crusaders at Windsor Park this afternoon.

After a cagey start, Linfield took the lead after eleven minutes. Stephen Fallon picked up possession in the middle before sending Joel Cooper into a pocket of space. The Crusaders back line failed to close him down and the winger made them pay, as he slotted a low shot in from the edge of the box.

An elated Windsor Park got even louder two minutes later, as Linfield added a second. The trusted delivery of Kirk Millar from a corner picked out the powering Jimmy Callacher who had ghosted in at the back post to nod home a second. A familiar combination producing the goods yet again, as Callacher hit his sixth goal of the season.

Andy Waterworth very nearly added a third after shrugging off Kyle Owens in the box but his low shot was well kept out by the leg of Crusaders goalkeeper Harry Doherty.

The Blues took a deserved 2-0 lead into the break after a dominant first half where Crusaders had failed to hit a shot on target.

Half Time: Linfield 2 – 0 Crusaders

After a poor first half The Crues reminded Linfield that they were still in the game when Paul Heatley struck a powerful volley from distance but it was well held by Roy Carroll.

Linfield gave Stephen Baxter’s men a mountain to climb when Josh Robinson added a third on 48 minutes. After a bit of pinball in the box, the ball finally dropped for the defender to fire home from close range against his former club.

Three became four on 55 minutes when Jordan Stewart added a stunning fourth. The move started with a clever nutmeg from Joel Cooper in the middle before he found Stewart on the left and the young attacking maestro did all the rest – a deceiving dummy to take the ball around a Crusaders defender before taking the ball past the Crusaders goalkeeper in spectacular fashion and firing into the empty net. A moment of true genius from a player who is really starting to show his mercurial class.

Andy Waterworth almost added a fifth when he turned Chris Casement’s cross towards goal but Harry Doherty made a smart save.

Substitute Philip Lowry pulled one back for the Hatchetmen on 66 minutes when the ball dropped for the midfielder to volley home from close range after pinball from a Crues corner.

Roy Carroll made a smart save to keep out a cross-come-shot which was heading in and Paul Heatley’s shot was blocked just wide but the Blues were always in control.

Substitute Michael O’Connor also threatened a fifth but he couldn’t quite connect on the stretch after a quick breakaway and cross from Jordan Stewart.

Full Time: Linfield 4 – 1 Crusaders

LinfieldFC.com Man of the Match: Jordan Stewart

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