Match Details
Season :
2019/2020
Date :
7th December 2019
Competition :
Irish Premier League
Venue :
Windsor Park
Referee :
Keith Kennedy
Linfield Scorer :
Chris Casement 62'
Linfield Yellow Cards :
Lavery, Mulgrew
Linfield Red Card :
Kirk Millar 83'
Cliftonville Yellow Cards :
Bagnall X2, R Donnelly, McDermott, P McLaughlin
Cliftonville Red Card :
Liam Bagnall 56'
Teams
Linfield Team :
Rohan Ferguson (GK), Chris Casement, Josh Robinson, Jimmy Callacher, Matthew Clarke, Kirk Millar, Stephen Fallon (Trai Hume 86’) , Bastien Hery, Jamie Mulgrew ©, Joel Cooper, Shayne Lavery (Andy Waterworth 74’)
Linfield Subs not used :
Alex Moore (GK), Ryan McGivern, Andrew Mitchell, Charlie Allen, Daniel Reynolds
Cliftonville Team :
Richard Brush (GK), Seanna Foster (Conor McMenamin 70'), Jamie Harney, Conor McDermott, Aaron Donnelly, Liam Bagnall, Chris Curran (C), Ronan Doherty (Calvin McCurry 90'), Rory Donnelly, Joe Gormley, Ryan Curran (Thomas Maguire 86')
Cliftonville Subs not used :
Declan Breen, Garry Breen, Ronan Wilson, Joe Gorman
Report
Linfield moved top of the table this afternoon despite having played two games less than their title rivals. Chris Casement’s second half goal secured three points in victory over Cliftonville at Windsor Park which propelled David Healy’s men to the top.

The first half was fairly uneventful and it took almost half an hour for the first meaningful attempt of the game as Joel Cooper turned in the Cliftonville half after receiving a pass from Bastien Hery but the winger flashed a shot wide from 20 yards out.

Cliftonville had a big chance to break the deadlock after 33 minutes at Windsor when Jimmy Callacher was caught sleeping on the ball and Rory Donnelly dispossessed him, running in on goal and despite good pressure from Robinson, he got his shot away which was well stopped by Rohan Ferguson down low to his right.

Joel Cooper didn’t get the desired connection on a bicycle kick after a neat passage of play, however, for all Linfield’s dominance of possession in the opening 45, the visiting goalkeeper hardly had a shot to save.

Half Time: Linfield 0 – 0 Cliftonville

The second half was more eventful and Linfield almost went ahead six minutes into it. Matthew Clarke delivered a free-kick to the back post after Mulgrew had been fouled in the corner and it was met by Jimmy Callacher whose header struck the crossbar.

Linfield received a boost when Cliftonville were reduced to ten men in the 56th minute. Midfielder Liam Bagnall received his marching orders for a second booking, both picked up for clumsy, late challenges on Jamie Mulgrew. Cliftonville boss Paddy McLaughlin received a yellow card in the aftermath for something he said in reaction.

David Healy’s men took advantage by making the breakthrough on 62 minutes. Stephen Fallon whipped in a delighted cross which was begging for a touch and Chris Casement arrived at the back post to provide it, slotting home from close range for a deserved Linfield lead.

The Blues almost added a second a short time later with a well-worked move when Bastien Hery switched the ball out left for Matthew Clarke in space and his low driven shot was well held by Richard Brush.

Cliftonville were a whisker away from a response against the run of play when Rory Donnelly galloped through on goal after going past Matthew Clarke before firing a thunderous strike against the crossbar.

Linfield hit the woodwork themselves a short time later when Jamie Mulgrew teed up Bastien Hery for a shot which he curled against the base of the post from 20 yards.

The Reds were still fighting despite being under so much pressure and again went close in the 81st minute when Joe Gormley headed over from 12 yards after Rory Donnelly headed Ronan Doherty’s cross into his path.

Cliftonville received a boost two minutes later when Linfield were reduced to ten men. Kirk Millar received a straight red card for a late challenge on full-back Aaron Donnelly, making it 10 v 10 for the final seven minutes plus stoppage time to set up a nervy finish. Cliftonville piled on the pressure but Linfield held on for a clean sheet and three valuable points.

Full Time: Linfield 1 – 0 Cliftonville

LinfieldFC.com Man of the Match: Stephen Fallon

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