Chris Johns (GK), Trai Hume (Michael Newberry 53’), Ross Larkin, Sam Roscoe, Matthew Clarke (C), Cameron Palmer (Jamie Mulgrew 75’), Stephen Fallon (Joshua Archer 75’), Ahmed Salam, Martin Donnelly, Kirk Millar (Adam Carroll 70’), Matt Green (Billy Chadwick 75’)
Linfield recorded a comprehensive 4-0 victory over Championship side Ballyclare Comrades at Dixon Park in the Round of 32 of the League Cup under the floodlights at Dixon Park this evening.
David Healy was able to give gametime to a number of players who were lacking in match fitness as the Blues boss made six changes to the team that beat Portadown at the weekend, with Sam Roscoe, Ross Larkin, Stephen Fallon, Martin Donnelly, Ahmed Salam and Matt Green all coming into the starting eleven.
Linfield were in command from the off and threatened a few times in the early stages. Two Kirk Millar corner deliveries gave Ross Larkin a chance to head at goal, but his first effort was saved by the goalkeeper and his second was headed over the bar.
Trai Hume also went close to a first senior Linfield goal when he set off on a great solo run but Comrades goalkeeper Purcell denied him with a good save at his near post.
The opening goal came on 27 minutes and in some fashion. Similar to Christy Manzinga’s against Portadown at the weekend, Man of the Match Stephen Fallon found the top corner with a sweet strike from 25 yards to put Linfield ahead.
Midfielder Fallon almost made it two a couple of minutes later when he met a cross from Matthew Clarke and his header clipped the top of the crossbar.
The woodwork was struck again before the break as Linfield searched for a second. This time it was Matt Green who was unlucky as his header from Martin Donnelly’s cross came off the post.
Half Time: Ballyclare Comrades 0 – 1 Linfield
Five minutes into the second half, Linfield got some insurance as the Blues and Stephen Fallon netted a second. It was a neat Linfield move down the right side as Stephen Fallon was picked out in the box and he fired the ball low into the corner from a tight angle.
The outstanding Fallon was heavily involved again as Linfield added a third on 67 minutes, this time turning provider. The midfielder was found bursting into the box on the left following nice play and he crossed for Matt Green to fire home at the back post.
The woodwork was struck for a third time as Kirk Millar threatened to add a fourth as he saw a great strike from just inside the box come off the crossbar.
The scoring was rounded off four minutes from time to cap a good night’s work. It was a nice goal from Hull City loanee Billy Chadwick soon after the young forward was introduced. Chadwick travelled with the ball from around 25 yards out, beat a couple of players and then slotted in a composed finish for his second goal for the club.
Adam Carroll made his senior debut as a second half sub.
Full Time: Ballyclare Comrades 0 – 4 Linfield