Match Details
Season :
2016/2017
Date :
18th March 2017
Competition :
Irish Premier League
Venue :
Windsor Park
Referee :
S.Gregg
Linfield Scorers :
Stewart 4', Millar 27', Waterworth 46', Lowry 67', Burns 92'.
Ards Scorer :
Keke 17'.
Ards Yellow Cards :
Taylor X2, Friars, Cherry
Ards Red Card :
Taylor
Teams
Linfield Team :
Carroll (GK), Haughey, Callacher, Stafford, M.Clarke, Smyth (Burns 72’), Mulgrew (C) (Carson 72’), Lowry, Quinn, Stewart (Millar 16’), Waterworth.
Linfield Subs not used :
Casement, Ward
Ards Team :
Hogg (GK), Hall, Taylor, Friars, Ruddy, Tommons, Doherty (McMillan 68’), McCullough (Cherry 41’), McAllister, McComb (Liggett 61’), Keke
Ards Subs not used :
Byers, Shevlin
Report
Linfield closed the gap to four points this afternoon with a fine win over Ards on an afternoon when Andy Waterworth netted his 100th goal for Linfield in 174 games.

The Blues took a fourth minute lead when 20 year-old striker Cameron Stewart rose highest to nod into the net from Paul Smyth’s corner from the right.

Minutes later, Linfield almost made it two when Waterworth got a strong header to Mark Haughey’s cross but Ards goalkeeper Aaron Hogg produced a magnificent save to claw it away from the destined top corner.

The visitors responded well to their goal and got themselves back on level terms after 15 minutes when they broke on the counter attack and Michael Ruddy pulled the ball back from the left for Guillaume Keke who was waiting in the middle to coolly slot into the bottom corner.

Linfield got themselves back in front on 27 minutes when substitute Kirk Millar, who replaced the injured Cameron Stewart after a quarter of an hour, was on hand to finish well, poking into the corner after Linfield’s attackers were queuing up to have a pop at goal.

Millar then went close to scoring his second when he dropped the shoulder to beat Ruddy but his low strike whistled just past the far corner.

Two through balls almost helped the Blues make it three but Waterworth’s first touch let him down before Paul Smyth’s lob dropped narrowly past the far post.

The Blues did make it three, though, in added time of the first half when the ball was fizzed into the feet of Waterworth who turned with his back to goal before swinging and slotting low beneath Aaron Hogg for his landmark 100th goal.

Half Time: Linfield 3 – 1 Ards

Healy’s men started the second half brightly and went close to extending their lead on 52 minutes. Jamie Mulgrew set off on a driving run and fired in a low cross that was clawed away from Waterworth’s feet by Aaron Hogg.

Mulgrew then provided a lobbed pass for Kirk Millar who made sweet contact on the volley from just outside the area but Hogg did well again to get down and save.

The in-form Stephen Lowry made it four with a deserved goal on 67 minutes when Millar’s cross fell for him to coolly finish from around 15 yards from goal.

The substitues combined on 78 minutes when Carson’s ball took the Ards defence out of the equation but Aaron Burns’ header was just over the crossbar.

Ards almost grabbed a second late on when Keke broke forward and beat Stafford but Roy Carroll got out quickly to block. Nixon’s men then went down to ten men as Taylor received his second booking for a cynical foul on Burns.

Aaron Burns put the icing on the cake with a fifth in added time when Matthew Clarke’s low, driven cross from the left found its way through to Aaron Burns who slotted home confidently through Hogg’s legs, Linfield's 100th goal scored this season.

Full Time: Linfield 5 – 1 Ards

LinfieldFC.com Man of the Match: Stephen Lowry

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