Co Antrim Shield
Belfast Loughshore Hotel Arena
Linfield Scorers :
Navid Nasseri 2', Jordan Stewart 8'
Linfield Team :
Chris Johns (GK), Mark Haughey, Mark Stafford, Ryan McGivern, Kyle McClean, Jamie Mulgrew ©, Niall Quinn, Kirk Millar, Navid Nasseri (Jimmy Callacher 67’), Jordan Stewart (Matthew Shevlin 82’ - Brandon Doyle 85’), Andy Waterworth
Linfield Subs not used :
Alex Moore, Ethan Boyle, Conor Pepper, Eamon Scannell
Carrick Rangers Team :
Aaaron Hogg (Gk), Reece Glendinning (Lee Chapman 50’), Mark Surgenor, Chris Rodgers, Caolan Loughran, Reece Neale, Daniel Kelly, Lloyd Anderson, Jonny Frazer (Alex Gawne 60’), Dee Fearon (Michael Smith 50’), Jordan Gibson
Linfield tonight booked their place in the semi-finals of the County Antrim Shield along with Cliftonville, Glentoran and Larne, as the Blues defeated Carrick Rangers by two goals to nil at the Belfast Loughshore Hotel Arena.
Linfield got off to the perfect start, reaping rewards for a high intensity approach. The Blues took the lead after just two minutes when Jordan Stewart found Kirk Millar out right and the winger produced a top class cross bent round for Navid Nasseri to fire home a neat finish from the edge of the box. A fantastic counter-attacking goal.
The Blues added a second in the eighth minute and it was another classy goal. Niall Quinn fizzed in a cross from the left at knee height and Jordan Stewart produced a special strike on the volley from the edge of the box, high into the net beyond the diving home goalkeeper. The maestro is enjoying a good start to the season after two goals in the opening round against PSNI last week.
Linfield were denied a third goal five minutes before the break, Andy Waterworth nipped down the right and fired in a low cross which was pinpoint for Navid Nasseri in the middle but his close-range shot was well blocked by Carrick goalkeeper Aaron Hogg.
Although the tempo slowed after the second goal, Linfield were unlucky not to be more than two up at the break. Chris Johns’ only action of the half was catching a 30 yard volley from Reece Neale, whilst Jordan Stewart threatened a few more times. At the end of the first half, he ran in to meet Kirk Millar’s cross but the ball flashed just wide of the far post.
Half Time: Carrick Rangers 0 – 2 Linfield
Linfield continued to knock on Carrick’s door at the other side of the break as Mark Haughey nodded the ball down in the box for Linfield’s legendary striker Andy Waterworth but he fired just wide. Soon after, he went close again as his deflected shot rolled past the post following Nasseri’s good run and pass.
Carrick had a good spell five minutes into the second half but didn’t take advantage of it as substitute Lee Chapman fired wide from 20 yards and soon after, no-one was following up as Jonny Frazer headed the ball across the box.
Carrick introduced frontman Michael Smith and he offered them something different and he had a good effort after turning well in the box but it flew over Chris Johns’ crossbar.
A disappointing note was an injury sustained by Matthew Shevlin just minutes after he was substituted on and he had to be replaced as Brandon Doyle came on.
Attentions now turn to the beginning of a new and highly-anticipated Danske Bank Premiership league campaign this weekend, when Linfield face Carrick Rangers again, this time at Windsor Park.
Full Time: Carrick Rangers 0 – 2 Linfield