Match Details
Season :
2018/2019
Date :
16th February 2019
Competition :
League Cup
Venue :
Windsor Park
Referee :
Andrew Davey
Linfield Scorer :
Andy Waterworth 15'
Linfield Yellow Cards :
Niall Quinn, Gareth Deane
Ballymena United Yellow Cards :
Jim Ervin, Cathair Friel, Johnny McMurray, Kofi Balmer
Teams
Linfield Team :
Gareth Deane (GK), Chris Casement, Jimmy Callacher, Josh Robinson, Matthew Clarke, Kirk Millar, Jamie Mulgrew ©, Kyle McClean, Jordan Stewart (Michael O’Connor 67’), Niall Quinn, Andrew Waterworth
Linfield Subs not used :
Conor Mitchell (GK), Mark Stafford, Ryan McGivern, Lorcan Forde, Daniel Kearns, Marek Cervenka
Ballymena United Team :
Ross Glendinning (GK), Andy McGrory (Matthew Shevlin 82’), Kofi Balmer, Jim Ervin ©, Jonny Addis, Steven McCullough, James Knowles (Tony Kane 45’), Jude Winchester (Johnny McMurray 73’), Leroy Millar, Adam Lecky, Cathair Friel
Ballymena United Subs not used :
Tom McDermott (GK), Conor Quigley, Scot Whiteside, William Faulkner
Report
LINFIELD ended an eleven year wait as Jamie Mulgrew held the League Cup aloft following a hard-fought victory over Ballymena United at Windsor Park this evening as Andrew Waterworth’s goal clinched The Blues’ 30th League Cup success in their trophy-laden history.

Ballymena gave Linfield an early scare. Frontman Cathair Friel held the ball up before teeing up midfielder James Knowles and the former Linfield player saw his shot deflected onto the outside of the post.

But Linfield went on to open the scoring after 15 minutes as Andrew Waterworth produced the goods on the big occasion once again. Tidy football from David Healy’s team resulted in Niall Quinn finding the reliable Waterworth and the striker skipped away from defender Jonny Addis, creating space for a shot before firing the ball low into the far corner past Ross Glendinning.

The Sky Blues almost hit back five minutes later when Josh Robinson failed in an attempt to shield the ball out of play and the outstretched Jude Winchester flashed the ball goalward, but Linfield goalkeeper Gareth Deane tipped the effort away from goal.

Controversy would arrive minutes before the break when Ballymena defender Jim Ervin caught Jamie Mulgrew late with a bad challenge. Mulgrew was able to continue after receiving treatment but many of the Linfield players and supporters thought yellow was the wrong colour of card for Ervin who appeared to leave the ground as he flew into the tackle. A melee followed and the result was a yellow card for Niall Quinn for pushing a Ballymena man.

Gareth Deane had to be alert in the closing stages of the half when a misjudged header back looked to be heading in, but he reacted quickly to push the ball away for a corner which ultimately mounted to nothing as Linfield took a goal lead into the half-time break.

Half Time: Ballymena United 0– 1 Linfield

Ballymena came out fighting in the second half and were on top in the minutes that followed. Jude Winchester went close for David Jeffrey’s men with a strike from the edge of the box, but Deane pushed the effort wide. Then, shortly after, Stephen McCullough’s corner directly struck the post and striker Cathair Friel uncharacteristically fired over the rebound from 5 yards as a golden chance went begging for United.

For all Ballymena’s pressure in the spell after half time, Linfield almost grabbed a second on 59 minutes when the onrushing Niall Quinn got on the end of Jordan Stewart’s pullback, but his shot was deflected wide just as it looked destined for the onion bag.

The busy Gareth Deane produced another important save on 65 minutes to push Cathair Friel’s header over from a right wing cross from Andy McGrory over the crossbar. United went close again from the resulting corner as Jonny Addis caught hold of a thunderous volley but Josh Robinson threw himself in the way for a crucial intervention.

Josh Robinson almost gave Linfield a two-goal cushion when he rose well to meet Niall Quinn’s corner but his header flew past the far post. Ballymena flew up the other end in no time when McMurray set Andy McGrory away but the wing back volleyed just past the far post from a good position.

Ballymena threw everything at it but Linfield stood tall to see out the victory. Congratulations to David Healy, his staff and players and commiserations to David Jeffrey and Ballymena United. Not since Glenn Ferguson’s late winner against Crusaders in 2008 had Linfield won the Cup and they had to work very hard to earn this one.

Sponsors man of the Match - Jimmy Callacher

Linfield FC.com Man of the Match - Jamie Mulgrew

Full Time: Ballymena United 0 – 1 Linfield

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