22nd November 2022
Irish Premier League
Linfield Scorer :
Michael Newberry 77'
Linfield Yellow Cards :
Stephen Fallon, Sam Roscoe, Jimmy Callacher, Eetu Vertainen
Larne Yellow Cards :
Lee Bonis, Shaun Want, Tomas Cosgrove, Mark Randall
Linfield Team :
Chris Johns (GK), Daniel Finlayson (Michael Newberry 62’), Jimmy Callacher, Sam Roscoe, Matthew Clarke, Jamie Mulgrew ©, Chris Shields, Kyle McClean (Stephen Fallon 51’), Kirk Millar, Robbie McDaid (Eetu Vertainen 77’), Chris McKee (Ethan Devine 62’)
Linfield Subs not used :
David Walsh (GK), Conor Pepper, Liam McStravick
Larne Team :
Rohan Ferguson (GK), Tomas Cosgrove ©, Saun Want, Cian Bolger, Aaron Donnelly, Ben Doherty, Mark Randall, Shea Gordon (Fuad Sule 72’), Leroy Millar, Paul O’Neill (Daniel Kearns 72’), Lee Bonis
Linfield toppled table-topping Larne for a very important three points under the lights at Windsor Park this evening, with Michael Newberry’s late header proving to be the winning goal.
The Blues have reduced the deficit at the top to just six points, having trailed by twelve points as recently as a few weeks ago and their good form has the champions right back in the thick of it.
It was an intriguing battle between the teams, with Larne having the better of the chances in the first half. Tiernan Lynch’s men first threatened after five minutes when a corner was flicked on to Paul O’Neill in space and he connected well, only to see his effort cleared off the line by the alert Kyle McClean who was manning the back post.
Two chances arrived in the space of a minute, around fifteen or sixteen minutes into the match. Firstly, Larne striker Lee Bonis broke into the box but his shot from a tight enough angle was straight at Chris Johns who was well positioned.
Within a minute of Bonis’ chance, striker partner Paul O’Neill then went close. The striker was slipped the ball to the right side of inside the Linfield box and he didn’t hesitate to pull the trigger on a fierce strike which drew an excellent save from Chris Johns to palmed the ball over the crossbar.
The Inver Reds will feel regretful that they didn’t make more of a numerical advantage when breaking forward towards the end of the first half, however credit must go to Daniel Finlayson who did excellently to slow down the move before Jimmy Callacher assisted the Scottish full-back and between them they stopped Larne’s Ben Doherty.
Half Time: Linfield 0 – 0 Larne
Although the first half was close-fought, Linfield had the better of the second half. A McDaid shot from 20 yards which fizzed over was the closest the Blues came in the first 45, but the second half saw a more purposeful and aggressive display. At times Larne were camped in their own half.
The Blues almost got their rewards for a bright start to the second half when Daniel Finlayson rose brilliantly to meet Kirk Millar’s corner delivery, but the full-back’s header struck the crossbar. Sam Roscoe headed wide on the rebound but the angle was against him.
A rare second half opportunity for Larne came on the hour-mark and it was well crafted as Ben Doherty played a one-two with Paul O’Neill before former Coleraine winger Doherty saw his 20 yard drive well saved around the post.
An enforced substitution worked out for Linfield as Michael Newberry struck the winning goal on 77 minutes – just 15 minutes after he’d replaced the injured Daniel Finlayson. Kirk Millar whipped in a teasing, deep free-kick delivery which Larne ‘keeper Ferguson came for, only to be beaten by Newberry who headed the ball over the goalkeeper and into the net for his first goal of the season.
Linfield managed the game brilliantly, with Ethan Devine’s hold-up play coming into great effect. The only nervy moment for the Blues came when Larne forward Lee Bonis won a header inside the box, but Linfield’s Chris Shields showed his class to make a brilliant, instinctive and vital tackle in front of goal to stop a Larne man pouncing.
Full Time: Linfield 1 – 0 Larne
LinfieldFC.com Man of the Match: Sam Roscoe