14th September 2019
Irish Premier League
Linfield Scorer :
Kirk MIllar 86'
Linfield Yellow Card :
Quinn and Stafford
Glentoran Yellow Cards :
Crowe, McDaid, Gordon and McClean
Linfield Team :
Rohan Ferguson (GK), Chris Casement, Mark Stafford, Jimmy Callacher, Niall Quinn, Kirk Millar, Jamie Mulgrew ©, Bastien Hery, Joel Cooper (Matthew Clarke 90’), Andrew Waterworth (Stephen Fallon 77’), Shayne Lavery
Linfield Subs not used :
Gareth Deane, Ryan McGivern, Andrew Mitchell, Daniel Reynolds, Matthew Shevlin
Glentoran Team :
Marijan Antolovic (GK), Marcus Kane ©, Gavin Peers (Steven Gordon 14’), Patrick McClean, Connor Pepper, Joe Crowe (Darren Murray 88’), John Herron, Hrvoje Plum, Elvio Van Overbeek, Robbie McDaid, Paul O’Neill (Cameron Stewart 85’)
Glentoran Subs not used :
Elliott Morris (GK), Chris Gallagher, Mal Smith, Antonio Duric
Kirk Millar was the hero as Linfield took the bragging rights with a late derby winner in a cagey victory over rivals Glentoran at Windsor Park this afternoon.
It was dubbed the most anticipated ‘Big Two’ derby for many years, with both teams riding on the crest of a wave. On one hand, champions Linfield had just went on an unprecedented run to the Europa League play-off, whilst Glentoran were boosted by investment which brought the arrival of several foreign players who’d helped the Glens to a bright start to their league campaign.
Linfield were the first team to threaten when Joel Cooper’s low cross was instinctively flicked just wide of the top corner. Lavery, who came on as a sub for Northern Ireland in their Euro 2020 Qualifier against Germany on Monday night, threatened again minutes later when he raced down the left before firing a cross-come-shot across goal.
Glentoran also had a few chances in the opening ten minutes as Paul O’Neill volleyed wide from a cross by former Netherlands U21 winger Elvio Van Overbeek, before captain Marcus Kane headed wide from Croatian midfielder Hrvoje Plum’s corner.
Robbie McDaid went within a whisker of an opening goal when he exchanged passed with Van Overbeek before hitting a curling shot from 25 yards just wide of Ferguson’s top corner.
Like last week, Linfield had a series of corners and free-kicks in promising areas which they failed to make count in the first half, although Mark Stafford was unlucky as his glancing header was smartly tipped around the post by Glentoran’s Croatian goalkeeper Marijas Antolovic.
The first half was a cagey contest, yet not one you’d want to take your eyes off. Linfield saw more of the ball but the best chance came right at the end of the half and for Glentoran. Plum fed it into Van Overbeek who was six yards from goal but he took a needless touch and Chris Casement was able to nip in and rescue the Blues.
Half Time: Linfield 0 – 0 Glentoran
Rohan Ferguson was called into action for his first save ten minutes into the second half when he had to beat away Hrvoje Plum’s wicked free-kick out of a crowded penalty area, and again on 66 minutes when Plum’s fierce strike from distance was well held.
The woodwork denied Glentoran an opener on 74 minutes when Van Overbeek’s cross was headed against the crossbar by Robbie McDaid with Ferguson watching on hopelessly. John Herron headed the ball back across the face of goal but Chris Casement made a vital intervention at the back post.
Intense Glentoran pressure followed and David Healy made a change to regain control with Stephen Fallon replacing Andy Waterworth as Linfield reverted to their familiar 4-2-3-1 shape, Fallon slotting in beside Mulgrew and Bastien Hery was pushed higher up the pitch.
It looked like it was going to be honours even but the big moment would arrive on 86 minutes as Linfield snatched a dramatic late derby winner. Niall Quinn passed to Bastien Hery who went on a skilful ran before finding Cooper, he passed it on to Stafford in the middle, with Stafford ultimately teeing up Millar who chopped inside before firing a low shot into the bottom corner with the help of a touch to spark scenes of sheer jubilation amongst the Linfield ranks.
Glentoran almost responded instantly as midfielder John Herron ghosted into the box from midfield but he headed wide from Connor Pepper’s cross, but Linfield held on for a deserved derby day three points.
Full Time: Linfield 1 – 0 Glentoran
LinfieldFC.com Man of the Match: Kirk Millar