28th November 2020
Irish Premier League
Q Radio arena at Milltown
Linfield Scorer :
Kirk Millar 28'
Warrenpoint Town Scorers :
Alan O'Sullivan 45', Keelan Dillon 55'
Linfield Team :
David Walsh (GK), Mark Haughey, Jimmy Callacher, Ross Larkin, Niall Quinn, Stephen Fallon (Kyle McClean 50’), Jamie Mulgrew (C), Kirk Millar, Jordan Stewart, Daniel Kearns (Matthew Shevlin 60’), Shayne Lavery
Linfield Subs not used :
Conor Pepper, Matthew Clarke, Brandon Doyle, Bastien Hery
Warrenpoint Town Team :
Gabriel Sava (GK), Colm Deasy, Gavin Peers, Dermot McVeigh, Danny Wallace, Steven Ball, Stuart Hutchinson, Ryan Swan, Keelan Dillon, Fra McCaffrey (C), Alan O'Sullivan
Warrenpoint Town Subs not used :
Andy Coleman (GK), Jake O'Connor, Ben Mullen, Matthew Knox, Mark Carson, Dylan Quinn, David Forsythe
Linfield were not at it this evening and they paid the ultimate price as The Blues lost their unbeaten start to the campaign in Warrenpoint.
There was a late change to the Linfield team, with goalkeeper Chris Johns injured in the warm-up. David Healy handed a senior debut to 18 year-old goalkeeper David Walsh who signed his first Pro contract with the Club in September having come through the ranks. Navid Nasseri, Christy Manzinga and Andy Waterworth also missed out through injury, whilst Jamie Mulgrew reached the superb milestone of 600th Linfield appearances. Ross Larkin and Daniel Kearns in for Conor Pepper and Kyle McClean were the other changes from Tuesday night’s dramatic draw against Glentoran.
Warrenpoint started well and looked to test David Walsh in goal but the young goalkeeper came up with the answers. Firstly, he held a low cross with assured hands and then again soon after he held a driven low shot by Ryan Swan after a neat passing move by the hosts.
Jimmy Callacher also rescued Linfield when he made a crucial block to deny Alan O’Sullivan who was shooting from around 15 yards out after being picked out by ‘Point captain Francis McCaffrey.
Linfield made the breakthrough on 28 minutes. Shayne Lavery had been flattened on the edge of the box by Gavin Peers and from the resulting free-kick Kirk Milllar drilled the ball low under the jumping wall and into the net to bag his third goal of the season.
The Blues almost added a second a minute later during their best spell of the match. Kirk Millar was again involved, this time whipping a free-kick delivery in from the left for the head of Shayne Lavery who headed straight at the goalkeeper and will feel he should have done better.
Lavery then did well running down the left side and then into the box before firing the ball across the face of goal for Jordan Stewart but it arrived at an awkward height and Stewart couldn’t keep his close range effort down.
Another nice move a short time later saw Haughey slip it into Stewart who passed to the overlapping Millar whose cross was fired just wide of the post by a Warrenpoint defender who did well. Then, from the resulting corner, Daniel Kearns had a strong goal bound shot blocked. This was a spell when Linfield needed to capitalise by scoring a second but it didn’t come.
Warrenpoint Town then drew level with the last kick of the first half. A corner was hung up to the far side of the box and Alan O’Sullivan guided the ball into the net after Gavin Peers had headed the ball across goal.
Half Time: Warrenpoint Town 1 – 1 Linfield
The start to the second half was not good from a Linfield perspective. Stephen Fallon went off injured five minutes into the half and then Warrenpoint took the lead ten minutes into the half. Linfield set up their own downfall, conceding from their own corner. No-one took control as the ball came out and this allowed Alan O’Sullivan to break down the left before slipping it across to Keelan Dillon who produced a fine first-time finish from the edge of the box.
The Warrenpoint backline performed very well both individually and collectively. Shayne Lavery looked like he was through on goal following a neat pass from substitute Matthew Shevlin, however just as he was about to pull the trigger, Colm Deasy put in a great challenge. Shevlin was almost in, himself when Jamie Mulgrew slipped a pass through but ‘Point goalkeeper Gabriel Sava was on his toes and out sharply.
The Blues had a few half chances but they huffed and puffed and you’d have expected sustained pressure in the closing stages, however, it was all very stop-start and Warrenpoint’s win didn’t look under much threat. In truth, it was a very comfortable night for the home goalkeeper against a toothless attack on the night. Warrenpoint were resolute, clinical and hungry and they deserved their win. David Healy will be disappointed by his team’s performance levels. The only positive he can take is that his young debutant goalkeeper David Walsh did his job well. Having also dropped points against Glentoran during the week, David Healy will demand a response at home to Cliftonville next week.
Full Time: Warrenpoint Town 2 – 1 Linfield