21st November 2020
Irish Premier League
Linfield Scorers :
Stephen Fallon 23', Shayne Lavery 75'
Linfield Yellow Cards :
Glenavon Yellow Cards :
Garrett, McCloskey, Singleton, Snoddy
Linfield Team :
Chris Johns (GK), Conor Pepper, Mark Haughey, Jimmy Callacher, Niall Quinn, Stephen Fallon, Kyle McClean, Navid Nasseri (Shayne Lavery 64’), Kirk Millar, Jordan Stewart (Jamie Mulgrew 75’), Andy Waterworth (Christy Manzinga 64’)
Linfield Subs not used :
David Walsh (GK), Ross Larkin, Matthew Clarke, Daniel Kearns
Glenavon Team :
Jonny Tuffey (GK), Sean Ward, Daniel Larmour, Andrew Doyle, James Singleton, Matthew Snoddy, Michael O’Connor, Robert Garrett (Jack O’Mahoney 60’), Conor McClsokey (Andy Hall 82’) Danny Purkis (Gregory Moorhouse 60’), Matthew Fitzpatrick
Glenavon Subs not used :
Conan Byrne, Jordan Jenkins, Aaron Harmon, Robbie Norton
Goals from Stephen Fallon and Shayne Lavery in either half against Glenavon at Windsor Park this afternoon, made it six wins from six for Linfield in the Danske Bank NIFL Premiership.
Glenavon started well and went close when former Northern Ireland international Michael O’Connor whipped a free-kick just wide of the post from distance. Then Linfield turned the screw and had a few opportunities, including one very good one as Kyle McClean whipped in a glorious cross for the unmarked Navid Nasseri who peeled off into space in the box but the winger couldn’t get the desired contact on his volley and it was comfortable for Tuffey to gather in the Glenavon goal.
Andy Waterworth had a couple of half chances soon after. He raced onto a through ball before opting to take an early strike on, but he didn’t connect as sweetly as he’d have liked and it was a comfortable one for Tuffey. Similarly, Tuffey caught a Waterworth effort soon after from a decent shooting position when it could have been a different outcome had defender Daniel Larmour not got a foot in.
The breakthrough came after 24 minutes and for Linfield. Navid Nasseri zipped a ball towards the head of Waterworth who was just left of centre, just outside the box. The striker went up to challenge and the instinctive Stephen Fallon ran round the back of him to latch onto a loose dropping ball before lobbing Jonny Tuffey with an exquisite finish.
They say you are at your most vulnerable when you’ve just scored and that could have been applied to Linfield when Conor McCloskey broke through on goal within a minute after the opener. The Glenavon winger looked certain to score, and he didn’t do anything wrong as he bent the ball towards the corner, only to see Chris Johns spring across like a cat to get a big hand to it. A superb save.
Michael O’Connor fired another free-kick wide and Conor McCloskey hooked a volley over the bar after a Glenavon cross into the box fell kindly in the closing stages of the half.
Half Time: Linfield 1 – 0 Glenavon
Linfield almost went two goals up seven minutes into the second half when captain on the day Jimmy Callacher almost marked his 250th Linfield appearance with a goal. The big defender met Niall Quinn’s corner with power and purpose, nodding the ball towards the corner, only for former Linfield defender Sean Ward to clear off the line. It looked a certain goal but credit to Ward for his defensive instincts.
As part of a double substitution, David Healy introduced Christy Manzinga, with the attacker now fit again after injury. Gary Hamilton and his players clearly felt the Frenchman should only have been on the pitch for three minutes as he appeared to hit out at an opponent off the ball. Manzinga received a yellow but Glenavon strongly felt it should have been red.
To add insult to injury for Glenavon, Manzinga was involved as The Blues doubled up on 75 minutes. Niall Quinn swung in a free-kick from the right and Manzinga headed at goal, an effort which appeared comfortable for Tuffey who spilt the ball and Shayne Lavery fired in the rebound. The Glenavon ‘keeper will be disappointed with it but Lavery will be pleased to bag his first league goal of the season.
Glenavon fought all the way and Sean Ward almost set up a nervy finish when he hit a fierce strike from distance, approximately 30 yards out. Chris Johns produced another fine save, not only to stop it, but also to push it away from the Glenavon attackers sniffing for a rebound.
Christy Manzinga should have netted a third in the closing stages. Jamie Mulgrew, back again from injury, sent the attacker clean through but his touch let him down and the ball got away from him. Perhaps a little rusty, which is understandable after a few months out.
Full Time: Linfield 2 – 0 Glenavon
LinfieldFC.com Man of the Match: Stephen Fallon