Match Details
Season :
Date :
29th October 2019
Competition :
League Cup
Venue :
Windsor Park
Referee :
Tim Marshall
Linfield Scorer :
Joel Cooper 9'
Linfield Yellow Cards :
Matthew Clarke, Stephen Fallon
Cliftonville Yellow Cards :
Conor McDermott, Liam Bagnall
Linfield Team :
Gareth Deane (GK), Niall Quinn, Jimmy Callacher, Ryan McGivern (Josh Robinson), Matthew Clarke, Stephen Fallon, Jamie Mulgrew © (Andrew Mitchell 90’), Kirk Millar, Bastien Hery, Joel Cooper, Shayne Lavery (Andy Waterworth 56’)
Linfield Subs not used :
Rohan Ferguson (GK), Trai Hume, Jordan Stewart, Matthew Shevlin
Cliftonville Team :
Richard Brush (GK), Conor McDermott (Liam Bagnall 19’), (Thomas Maguire 78’), Jamie Harney, Joe Gorman, Aaron Donnelly, Chris Curran, Ronan Doherty, Conor McMenamin (Ronan Wilson 68’), Ryan Curran, Rory Donnelly, Joe Gormley
Cliftonville Subs not used :
Declan Dunne (GK), Seanna Foster, Mark McKee, Donal Rocks
Holders Linfield booked their place in the Bet McLean League Cup semi-final with victory over Cliftonville at Windsor Park this evening thanks to Joel Cooper’s early goal.

The game started at a quick pace and Cliftonville were the first to threaten. Reds winger Conor McMenamin nipped in to take the ball off Niall Quinn’s toe before releasing Joe Gormley who surged into the box and fired a low strike at goal but Gareth Deane produced a good outstretched save.

An early opener soon arrived for Linfield, however. Kirk Millar’s dangerous corner from the left side was headed by Cliftonville defender Conor McDermott towards his own goal but his header was cleared off the line by Chris Curran but only as far Joel Cooper who pounced to drill home from ten yards with his right foot, a good finish into the corner for his ninth goal of the season.

An extraordinary phase of play followed on 22 minutes. Linfield were awarded a penalty when Joe Gorman brought down Shayne Lavery in the box. The striker stepped up to take the spot-kick but was denied by the outstretched Richard Brush. Somehow, Joel Cooper and Matthew Clarke saw their follow-up shots blocked on the line in truly remarkable fashion and this lifted the Cliftonville support. It appeared that Cooper’s effort crossed by the line by two yards but nothing was given.

Linfield were forced into a change just before the break when Ryan McGivern went down off the ball holding his leg after seemingly tweaking a muscle. The experienced defender was replaced by Josh Robinson who was making his comeback from injury. Skipper Jamie Mulgrew also limped off late on to add to the concern.

Half Time: Linfield 1 – 0 Cliftonville

The first half was dominated by Linfield but Cliftonville came out with a bit more purpose about their play at the start of the second half. Nonetheless, Linfield were next to fashion a proper chance when Lavery teed up Hery and he teed up Millar for a shot but he didn’t get enough power to really trouble Richard Brush.

The Blues went close again when Niall Quinn fired in a wicked cross with his stronger left foot from a wide right position but Matthew Clarke couldn’t quite get on the end of it but it wasn’t for lack of effort. The ball bounced right in front of Brush but he was able to gather.

Linfield had more passionate pleas waved away later in the second half when Matthew Clarke felt his header was handled by Cliftonville’s Ronan Wilson after he met Kirk Millar’s corner at the back post. Soon after, the aforementioned Clarke stung the palms of Richard Brush with a powerful shot.

Healy’s men nearly wrapped it up three minutes from time when Andy Waterworth made a yard in the box to get a shot away with his left foot but he struck the base of the post and the ball rebounded at pace for Fallon inside the box but he couldn’t keep his shot down. Cooper’s goal proved to be enough for a deserved victory as Gareth Deane only had one shot to save.

Full Time: Linfield 1 – 0 Cliftonville Man of the Match: Stephen Fallon

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