Match Details
Season :
2019/2020
Date :
30th November 2019
Competition :
Irish Premier League
Venue :
Windsor Park
Referee :
Shane Andrews
Linfield Scorer :
Josh Robinson 85
Larne Yellow Card :
McKendry
Teams
Linfield Team :
Rohan Ferguson (GK), Josh Robinson, Mark Stafford, Ryan McGivern, Kirk Millar, Stephen Fallon , Andrew Mitchell, Jamie Muilgrew © (Chris Casement 36’), Joel Cooper, Shayne Lavery, Andy Waterworth (Jordan Stewart 70’)
Linfield Subs not used :
Alex Moore (GK), Trai Hume, Matthew Clarke, Daniel Reynolds, Matthew Shevlin
Larne Team :
Conor Devlin (GK), Harry Flowers, Graham Kelly, Albert Watson, Chris Ramsey (Cillin Gilmour 89’), Fuad Sule (Mark Randall 75’), Jeff Hughes ©, Ben Tilney (Conor McKendry 75’), Lee Lynch, David McDaid
Larne Subs not used :
Conor Mitchell, Shane McEleney, Sean Graham, Pablo Andrade
Report
A late winner from Josh Robinson snatched three points for Linfield in a tightly-contested match with Larne as they met the Inver Park men in the top flight for the first time since 2008.

The newly-promoted visitors with big ambitions made a bright start at Windsor Park but it was Linfield who first threatened to take the lead. Stephen Fallon won the ball in midfield before advancing towards the edge of the Larne box and his well-struck shot was pushed away by Larne’s outstretched goalkeeper Conor Devlin.

Shayne Lavery was next to go close when Devlin’s punch only half-cleared Ryan McGivern’s instinctive goalward flick, but Lavery had to act fast on the dropping ball and his left-footed effort drifted wide.

Larne had a massive chance to take the lead after 20 minutes but they didn’t take advantage. Jeff Hughes’ low shot deflected kindly into the path of Ben Tilney in the box but the left midfielder fired over from 16 yards after shifting the ball onto his left foot.

Linfield were dealt a massive blow ten minutes before the break when Jamie Mulgrew went down after a knock and he wasn’t able to shake it off. Chris Casement was his replacement as David Healy changed to a 4-4-2 formation.

Half Time: Linfield 0 – 0 Larne

Larne dominated the ball for the first 20 minutes of the second half but didn’t do anything with it in the attacking third. Instead it was Shayne Lavery who once again tried his luck from distance after turning well but his left-footed drive was well gathered by Devlin.

What had been a dull game broke into life in the last ten minutes. Rohan Ferguson saved Linfield in every sense late on with a top class save, just as it looked like Larne were going to snatch it. David McDaid turned smartly on the edge of the Linfield box before hitting a low strike towards the corner but Ferguson, somehow, got a hand to it and pushed the effort onto the post. The ball then rolled across the faced on goal – much to the agony of the Larne fans who thought it was in!

The Blues made them pay just minutes later with a dramatic late winner. Andrew Mitchell swung in a wicked free-kick and Stafford challenged Devlin who could only palm the ball into the path of Josh Robinson and the big defender gobbled it up, slotting in from close range for the decisive goal.

David Healy’s men should have sealed it with a second in the dying minutes when Albert Watson misjudged a header which allowed Joel Cooper in for a two-on-one. Cooper had Lavery free in the middle but his pass across was too heavy for the striker to reach.

The last action of the game saw Larne striker David McDaid once again get a shot away from distance but the ever dependable Ferguson produced another assured save as Linfield held on for the three points.

Full Time: Linfield 1 – 0 Larne

LinfieldFC.com Man of the Match: Andrew Mitchell

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