Linfield earn hard-fought 1-1 draw

Posted : 3rd June 2023 at 09:54:24

Linfield battled hard on to earn a 1-1 draw against Sion Swifts in Friday’s Sports Direct Premiership MD7 game at New Midgley Park.

The visitors were in the ascendancy in the first half and they twice struck the post with shots from distance.

A physically strong side, Sion were always a threat from set pieces and from a right wing corner, Lauren Haynes scrambled home the opening goal from close range after 38 minutes.

Linfield grabbed the equaliser on the stroke of half time. A long ball through the middle was met by Keri Halliday who got to the ball first and bravely headed over the onrushing Sion keeper into an unguarded net.

Rebecca Bassett was a half time sub for Rachel Kerr and Carla Devine was a 68th minute sub for Ebony Leckey.

The second half was a more even affair, with Linfield probably more in the ascendancy and Sienna Leckey came close to giving the Blues the lead but the visiting keeper produced a fine one on one save.

Ashley Hutton produced a fine goal line clearance to keep the scores level in a game which was a real battle between two well matched and totally committed teams.

The game was hard fought throughout, with the referee kept busy awarding free kicks and yellow cards.

An injured Rebecca Bassett was replaced by Emily Reid in the fifth minute of injury time.

In the 10th minute of injury time, the referee awarded a penalty kick to Sion, following a foul in the box but the visiting player placed her spot kick just wide of the post.

A draw was probably a fair result on the balance of play and a point apiece was fair reward to both teams for a huge amount of effort that was put into a real hard fought battle of a game. The visitors will feel that they could have come away with all 3 points but for a young emerging Linfield team, this game was another important stage in their learning and development.

The Linfield players showed tremendous character and resilience in holding on to the vital point and they couldn’t have given any more on the night against a very strong, physical Sion team.

Appreciation to all the supporters who attended - after Monday’s good weather in the home game against Glentoran, this was another fine evening of pleasant summer weather.

Player of the match - Mia Moore

Linfield are next in action in a 8pm kick off on Friday June 9 - away to Lisburn at the Bluebell stadium.

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