Match Details
Season :
Date :
20th February 2021
Competition :
Irish Premier League
Venue :
Windsor Park
Referee :
Andrew Davey
Linfield Yellow Cards :
Shayne Lavery, Kyle McClean, Jordan Stewart
Coleraine Yellow Card :
Stewart Nixon
Linfield Team :
Chris Johns (GK), Matthew Clarke (Navid Nasseri 72’), Mark Haughey, Jimmy Callacher (C), Conor Pepper, Kirk Millar (Jamie Mulgrew 72’), Stephen Fallon (Christy Manzinga 72’), Kyle McClean, Niall Quinn, Jordan Stewart, Shayne Lavery
Linfield Subs not used :
Alex Moore (GK), Mark Stafford, Michael Newberry, Cammy Palmer
Coleraine Team :
Gareth Deane (GK), Lyndon Kane, Gareth McConaghie, Josh Carson, Evan Tweed (Aaron Jarvis 80’) , Stephen Lowry, Ian Parkhill, Jamie Glackin, Stewart Nixon (Ronan Wilson 72'), Matthew Shevlin (Eoin Bradley 77’)
Defences were on top at Windsor Park this evening as Linfield and Coleraine played out a tense stalemate draw.

The first half – like much of the game – was very much like a sparring match. Coleraine were set up to stay resolute and to hit Linfield on the counter-attack when opportunities would arise through the quick strike due of Stewart Nixon and Matthew Shevlin. Despite dominating the ball, The Blues struggled to create clear-cut chances.

The game started with a nice pace to it. Gareth Deane was tested early on when a sustained attack ended with Kirk Millar crossing into the box and Coleraine defender Lyndon Kane had to hook the ball clear with Deane unable to grasp the cross.

Coleraine had a good chance through former Linfield striker Matthew Shevlin, who moved to the Bannsiders in January. Gareth Deane booted a great long kick-out up the pitch to send Stewart Nixon on his way and he squared it for Matthew Shevlin whose shot was saved by Chris Johns with the help of a deflection which took a bit of sting out of the shot.

The best effort of the first half came from Jordan Stewart. The attacker was unlucky after dropping the shoulder to make room for a pop from 25 yards and it was very nearly another one for his collection of special goals as the ball whistled just wide of the post.

Linfield ended the half strongly and the best chance arrived four minutes before the break. Shayne Lavery intercepted a pass just inside the Coleraine box and it opened up for a counter-attack as the striker exchanged passes with Stewart before the ball fell for the onrushing Niall Quinn who struck the post with his weaker right foot from the edge of the box.

Half Time: Linfield 0 – 0 Coleraine

Linfield started the second half on the front foot. Kyle McClean was first to threaten minutes into the half when he was teed up for a 20 yard drive on his left foot by Jordan Stewart but it was pushed over the top by Gareth Deane. From the resulting corner Jimmy Callacher met Niall Quinn’s delivery but glanced a header wide.

The Blues momentarily thought they’d taken the lead on the hour-mark when Kirk Millar’s wicked cross was met by Niall Quinn who beat the onrushing Gareth Deane to the ball and seemingly headed over the line, only for a foul to be given in Coleraine’s favour as Quinn was adjudged to have fouled Deane in the air.

It’s not often you see it, but with 20 minutes remaining David Healy made a triple substitution, playing all his cards at once. Niall Quinn dropped to left back from left midfield where Christy Manzinga moved into, Navid Nasseri played off the right and Mulgrew for Fallon was a straight swap.

On 75 minutes Linfield orchestrated a good move through a fantastic pass over the top by Jimmy Callacher for Conor Pepper on the surge and the full-back pulled it back for Jordan Stewart whose low shot was crucially blocked by Coleraine centre half Gareth McConaghie.

Then came thee big chance where Linfield could have won it. Jordan Stewart dribbled into the box and towards the byline before hanging up a superb cross for Shayne Lavery who’d peeled between defenders at the back post but he headed just wide from close range. Jimmy Callacher will also be disappointed not to have done better when he rose to meet Niall Quinn's corner only to head straight at Deane in the Coleraine goal.

Both teams showed ambition to try and win it late on but it looked sure that Coleraine were going to snatch it. Great footwork from Coleraine attacker Jamie Glackin took him into the box and he pulled the ball across for Eoin Bradley who had time and made space and when he looked certain to score from close range it was brilliantly saved by Chris Johns.

Both teams will have to settle for a point. Linfield had more chances but just couldn’t make them count but if they feel disappointed they will have to move on with a huge week ahead starting with the ‘Big Two’ derby on Tuesday night.

Full Time: Linfield 0 – 0 Coleraine

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