Linfield Scorer :
Andy Waterworth (19')
Linfield Yellow Card :
Callacher & Rooney
Newry City Yellow Card :
Linfield Team :
Gareth Deane (GK), Mark Haughey, Jimmy Callacher, Mark Stafford, Niall Quinn, Kirk Millar (Andrew Mitchell 87’), Jamie Mulgrew ©, Stephen Lowry, Jordan Stewart (Ryan Strain 64’), Kurtis Byrne (Louis Rooney 64’), Andy Waterworth
Linfield Subs not used :
Alex Moore (GK), Josh Robinson, Robert Garrett, Brandon Adams
Newry City Team :
Steven Maguire (GK), Dara Noonan, Paddy Mooney, Darren King, John Boyle, Thomas McCann, Stephen Hughes (Neill Mullan 90’), Declan Carville, Mark McCabe, Kevin McArdle, (Keith Johnston 76’) Mark Hughes.
Newry City Subs not used :
Marty Havern, Chris McMahon, Ruairi Cunningham, James Walker, Jack Heaney
Linfield, aiming to defend their Irish Cup trophy, took on Newry City at Windsor Park in the sixth round of the Cup this afternoon. It was a big game for the Blues with the Cup now their only chance of silverware remaining this season. It was also a big occasion for the visitors too, as they marked their meteoric rise from the ashes in 2013 with their first trip to Windsor as Newry City AFC as a reformed Club.
Mark Haughey returned to the Linfield fold after serving a one-match suspension against Coleraine during the week. Achille Campion, Roy Carroll and Stephen Fallon missed out through injury, whilst new signing Joe Crowe from Sandy Row missed out through a suspension which carried over from his time with Norwich City. Jamie Mulgrew started beside Stephen Lowry for just the second time this season.
Linfield went close to an opener after nine minutes when Mark Stafford got a head on Niall Quinn’s corner before the ball was scrambled off the line by a Newry defender.
The Blues didn’t have to wait much longer for the opener, however, as Kirk Millar found space in the middle and he sent Andy Waterworth through on goal with a neat through ball as the striker went on to clinically fire a left-footed shot into the far corner to score for the third game running.
Chances in the first 45 minutes were few and far between, although Jimmy Callacher wasn’t too far away from a second for Linfield when Niall Quinn fizzed a free-kick across goal, but the defender just couldn’t quite connect from 10 yards.
Half Time: Linfield 1 – 0 Newry City
A scrappy start to the second half followed and Jordan Stewart went close on 51 minutes when the ball deflected into his path in the box. He opened his body up to wrap his foot around it but he fired just over the crossbar.
Kirk Millar looked to have slipped Kurtis Byrne in minutes later with a threaded through ball but the ball got away from Byrne’s feet in unfortunate fashion.
Dubliner Kurtis Byrne went close once more after being fed by Jordan Stewart on the right. His cross just evaded Waterworth at the back post, although it wasn’t overly far away from finding the far corner, either.
Extraordinary scenes followed on 65 minutes as a power cut kicked in and the floodlights went off along with the electric as the referee decided to stop play for around five minutes. The teams played on without the floodlights, and with half an hour remaining the question was whether the game could continue without support lighting.
A second goal almost arrived on 75 minutes when substitute Ryan Strain picked out Niall Quinn down the left before racing into the box to connect with Quinn’s delivery but the young striker headed just wide of the post.
Newry’s big chance arrived just over 10 minutes from time when the ball deflected kindly out the right side to Keith Johnston. The Newry sub advanced into the box before firing a rasping effort just over.
The visitors escaped with another goal line clearance in the closing stages when Strain slipped in Lowry and his shot was cleared when Linfield looked certain to bundle it home. Then, up the other end, a Newry man produced a towering header at a corner, only for Kirk Millar to perform a magnificent headed clearance off the line. Agonisingly close for the Newry men.
Linfield held on, and although it won't be their most convincing win ever, the main thing is they are in the hat for the Quarter Final of the Irish Cup. The Blues will now play Cliftonville at Windsor Park in the next round on March 3.
Full Time: Linfield 1 – 0 Newry City