28th December 2019
Irish Premier League
Linfield Scorer :
Stephen Fallon 11'
Coleraine Scorer :
Aaron Canning 54'
Linfield Yellow Cards :
McGivern X2, Stewart, Shevlin, Ferguson
Linfield Red Card :
Coleraine Yellow Cards :
McLaughlin, Lowry, Glackin
Linfield Team :
Rohan Ferguson (GK), Chris Casement, Mark Stafford, Jimmy Callacher, Ryan McGivern, Kirk Millar, Stephen Fallon (Bastien Hery 78’), Jamie Mulgrew ©, Matthew Shevlin (Matthew Clarke 75’), Shayne Lavery (Jordan Stewart 85'), Andy Waterworth
Linfield Subs not used :
Alex Moore (GK), Andrew Mitchell, Daniel Kearns, Daniel Reynolds
Coleraine Team :
Chris Johns, Lyndon Kane, Aaron Canning, Gareth ,McConaghie, Aaron Traynor, Josh Carson, Stephen Lowry, Ben Doherty (Ian Parkhill 62’), Jamie Glackin, James McLaughlin, Eoin Bradley
Linfield ended 2019 with a hard-fought draw away to Coleraine at the Showgrounds this afternoon as Andy Waterworth made his 300th appearance for the Club.
David Healy made no less than six changes to the team which lost to Glentoran 48 hours previous in the Boxing Day derby. In came Casement, Stafford, McGivern, Millar, Shevlin and Lavery. The Blues lined up in a 4-4-2, with Matthew Shevlin impressing off the left flank on his first League start for the Club, in place of the suspended Joel Cooper.
The Blues started well and went close twice early on. Kirk Millar was first to threaten when his shot was deflected wide. Matthew Shevlin went closer when his header from Millar’s corner was well saved by Coleraine goalkeeper Chris Johns.
Linfield did take the lead after 11 minutes, however, and what a goal it was! The ball dropped for Stephen Fallon on the edge of the Coleraine box and he let rip with a piledriver of a strike on his left foot to send the ball into the top corner of the net. He couldn’t have hit it any sweeter.
Shevlin was looking so lively, particularly using his pace on the counter-attack and he threatened to add a second when his shot on the edge of the box was deflected wide.
Although Linfield shaded the first half, Coleraine had two good chances of their own. Aaron Canning found Josh Carson out right with a great pass and the winger ventured into the box before firing a shot just wide. James McLaughlin could and probably should have done better when the overlapping Lyndon Kane picked out the striker in a good position in the middle, but McLaughlin fired over.
Half Time: Coleraine 0 – 1 Linfield
Coleraine put Linfield under the cosh right from the off in the second half and a series on corners paid off for the Bannsiders on 54 minutes when Aaron Canning rose to power in a header from Ben Doherty’s delivery to level the scores.
Linfield almost responded straight away as Shevlin broke away before taking on a shot from the edge of the box which stung the palms of Chris Johns.
Coleraine striker Eoin Bradley turned past Stafford and looked set to score but the big defender got back for a brilliant last ditch block. Strike partner McLaughlin also went close when he got a shot away inside the box but it was well held by Ferguson.
Linfield were dealt a blow on 72 minutes when they were reduced to ten men. Defender Ryan McGivern was sent off for the second time against Coleraine this season, as he received his second yellow card. His first booking was undebatable for a late challenge on Eoin Bradley in the first half, and the second booking was for a foul on Jamie Glackin.
The Blues had a good chance to take an unlikely lead soon after when Shayne Lavery did so well to get a low cross in for Kirk Millar at the back post but he was denied by a good save by Chris Johns.
Coleraine had a massive chance to snatch it at the death. McConaghie launched the ball up to Eoin Bradley down the channel and he slipped it into Glackin with the goal at his mercy, he opted to slip it into McLaughlin to his left but Rohan Ferguson came up trumps, out quickly to make a crucial and great save.
Full Time: Coleraine 1 – 1 Linfield