26th December 2018
Irish Premier League
Linfield Scorers :
Callacher (15), Stewart (65), Cooper (68), Waterworth (75)
Linfield Yellow Cards :
Glentoran Yellow Cards :
Pepper, Kane, Allen, Herron
Glentoran Red Card :
Linfield Team :
Roy Carroll (GK), Chris Casement, Jimmy Callacher, Josh Robinson, Niall Quinn, Kirk Millar, Jamie Mulgrew © (Andrew Mitchell 73’), Stephen Fallon, Jordan Stewart, Joel Cooper (Daniel Kearns 76’), Andy Waterworth (Michael O’Connor 76’)
Linfield Subs not used :
Deane (GK), M.Clarke, Garrett, Reynolds
Glentoran Team :
Elliott Morris (GK), Nathan Kerr, William Garrett, James Ferrin, Marcus Kane ©, Peter McMahon, Connor Pepper, Steven Gordon (Chris Gallagher 76’), John Herron, Dylan Davidson (Curtis Allen 45’), Robbie McDaid
Glentoran Subs not used :
Nelson (GK), Prentice, Henderson, McCarthy, O'Neill
RUTHLESS Linfield made it a ‘Blue Christmas’ with an emphatic victory in this afternoon’s traditional ‘Big Two’ Boxing Day derby at Windsor Park in a one-sided affair as goals from Callacher, Jordan Stewart, Cooper and Waterworth gave The Blues a 4-0 victory.
After a cagey start, local boy and former Glentoran man Jimmy Callacher kept up his goalscoring heroics as he slid Linfield in front after 15 minutes. It was a dream start for The Blues as Callacher got on the end of Kirk Millar’s deep free-kick to slot the ball home for his seventh goal of the season – quite a remarkable return for a defender prior to the New Year.
David Healy’s men almost added a second on the half-hour mark, when Jordan Stewart fizzed in an accurate cross to Kirk Millar at the back post, however, Millar’s shot skewed across the face of the Glentoran goal.
A few minutes after that, Millar went even closer again. This time he got across the front post to meet Niall Quinn’s pinpoint cross, only to see his flicked header flash by the wrong side of the far post.
Joel Cooper also called Glens ‘keeper Elliott Morris into action in the closing stages of the first half when he skipped into space before firing a low strike from the edge of the box, but Morris was able to gather at the second attempt with Waterworth breathing down his neck.
The last kick of the half gave Glentoran a huge scare as bandaged-up striker Andy Waterworth flicked on Niall Quinn’s cross with a deft header, only to see the ball smack off the base of the back post and away to safety. Disappointment for Linfield who would have benefitted from a two-goal cushion going into the second half.
Half Time: Linfield 1– 0 Glentoran
The Glentoran management decided to make a change at the break as they called their talismanic striker Curtis Allen off the bench and he almost made an immediate impact as he latched onto a loose ball following a defensive lapse, but he headed marginally over the bar to let Linfield off the hook.
The East Belfast outfit had a good spell in the 15 minutes after the half-time break and their best effort was a smart turn and shot from defender James Ferrin but Roy Carroll was equal to the effort.
A quick breakaway soon crushed any Glentoran hope on 65 minutes. Jordan Stewart’s intelligent interception broke for Joel Cooper who would break away down the pitch before squaring the ball back across for Stewart to slid home Linfield’s second.
Linfield were in rampant mood and made it three on 68 minutes when Niall Quinn’s corner made its way through to the back post where Joel Cooper was lurking to steer the ball low into the goal.
Joel Cooper very nearly added a fourth when he was picked out by Jordan Stewart after some sublime footwork, but Morris was able to block Cooper from close range. Jimmy Callacher also threatened when he got on the end of Niall Quinn’s corner, but his powerful header was cleared off the line.
Three became four on 75 minutes with another superbly worked goal. Joel Cooper backheeled the ball in style to substitute Andrew Mitchell who would play in Andrew Waterworth to hammer a low strike past the helpless Morris into the Glentoran goal.
A miserable day for Glentoran went from bad to worse when referee Ian McNabb flashed a straight red card to striker Robbie McDaid for a petulant kick out at Jordan Stewart off the ball.
Michael O’Connor put the ball in the net with a composed finish to a Casement cross, but he was in an offside position and the goal didn’t stand. Daniel Kearns also had a thunderous strike parried away by Elliott Morris.
Full Time: Linfield 4 – 0 Glentoran
LinfieldFC.com Man of the Match: Jordan Stewart