Linfield Scorer :
Shayne Lavery 60'
Queen's University Scorers :
Marc McKenna 37', Jonah Mitchell 76'
Linfield Team :
Rohan Ferguson (GK), Ethan Boyle, Mark Stafford (Jordan Stewart 78’) Jimmy Callacher, Matthew Clarke, Bastien Hery (Matthew Shevlin 78’), Jamie Mulgrew ©, Kirk Millar, Joel Cooper, Daniel Kearns (Shayne Lavery 58’), Andy Waterworth
Linfield Subs not used :
Alex Moore (GK), Ross Larkin, Chris Casement, Andrew Mitchell
Queen's University Team :
Declan Brown (GK), Joshua Corry, Ronan Young, Matthew McManus, Adam Robinson, Leon Bonnes, Jonah Mitchell, Benjamin Mulgrew, Ciaron O’Hare (Brendan Glackin 50’), Marc McKenna (Lorcan McIlroy 68’), Matthew Hughes
Linfield suffered one of their worst ever results this afternoon as they were left utterly shell-shocked, getting dumped out of the Irish Cup at the first time of asking by underdogs QUB who deserved their victory.
On the day of his 23rd birthday, Linfield were able to hand a debut to new signing Ethan Boyle at right back. Mark Stafford and Bastien Hery were the other two changes to the team as Mark Haughey and Shayne Lavery dropped out. It wasn’t a weakened Linfield team by any stretch.
Linfield threatened early on when Bastien Hery slipped the ball wide right to Kirk Millar whose shot was well kept out by the outstretched leg of home goalkeeper Declan Brown.
The hosts had a few good efforts from distance with Matthew Hughes going close and later, fellow striker Marc McKenna fizzed a good effort from range at goal which Ferguson gathered well.
Queens almost took a shock lead on 37 minutes. Former Linfield Swifts and Ards winger Jonah Mitchell floated in an excellent cross to the back post for the unmarked Matthew Hughes who saw his volley superbly saved by Rohan Ferguson.
But the hosts were only temporarily thwarted, however, as striker Marc McKenna had time and space on the edge of the box to pick his spot and fire a low shot into the bottom corner for an unlikely lead, a goal which wasn’t necessarily against the run of play as Linfield weren’t at their best.
Jamie Mulgrew almost offered an immediate response for Linfield after driving inside when his shot with the outside of his right foot struck the crossbar from 20 yards.
Half Time: QUB AFC 1 –0 Linfield
The Blues came out with more purpose in the second half and two minutes into the half they almost equalised. Mark Stafford met Kirk Millar’s corner with a powering header which struck the crossbar and Joel Cooper’s follow-up was saved by Declan Brown.
Jamie Mulgrew fired a low shot just past the post a short time later, before Andy Waterworth threatened with a wicked strike from distance which flew past the upright.
Just two minutes after his entrance, Shayne Lavery grabbed the equalising goal for Linfield with a classic Lavery header, jumping well to power home a near-post header from Kirk Millar’s corner. Many expected Linfield to kick on after this, but it wasn’t the case.
After much delay, Queens were awarded a controversial penalty on 76 minutes when Mark Stafford was adjudged to have handled the ball after stumbling on the ball in the area under pressure. The referee wasn’t going to give it but changed his mind on his linesman’s advice after the ball had gone and Jonah Mitchell converted the penalty emphatically.
Jimmy Callacher thought he had headed Linfield level from a Kirk Millar free-kick but it was disallowed for offside. Matthew Shevlin fired a free header wide in stoppage time as Queens held on for a massive upset, achieved by discipline and determination against a lacklustre Linfield.
Full Time: QUB AFC 2 – 1 Linfield