Match Details
Season :
2022/2023
Date :
14th January 2023
Competition :
Irish Premier League
Venue :
Mourneview Park
Referee :
Tony Clarke
Linfield Scorers :
Andrew Clarke 6', Sam Roscoe 52', Eetu Vertainen 57', Chris Shields 64', 79', Max Haygarth 82'
Glenavon Scorer :
Conor McCloskey 18'
Linfield Yellow Card :
Joel Cooper
Glenavon Yellow Cards :
Danny Wallace, Peter Campbell
Teams
Linfield Team :
Chris Johns (GK), Daniel Finlayson, Michael Newberry, Sam Roscoe, Matthew Clarke, Chris Shields (Ethan Devine 83'), Jamie Mulgrew (C) (Cammy Palmer 80'), Kyle McClean, Joel Cooper (Jordan Stewart 67'), Andrew Clarke (Max Haygarth 80'), Eetu Vertainen (Chris McKee 67')
Linfield Subs not used :
David Walsh (GK), Conor Pepper
Glenavon Team :
Rory Brown (GK), Conor Kerr, Calum Birney, Danny Wallace, Aaron Rogers, Robert Garrett, Isaac Baird, Conor McCloskey, Peter Campbell, Aaron Prendergast, Matthew Fitzpatrick
Report
Linfield bounced back from their midweek defeat to Cliftonville with an emphatic victory against Glenavon at Mourneview Park in Lurgan this afternoon.

The Blues took the lead six minutes into the match. A strong breeze was proving troublesome and it didn’t help Glenavon on multiple occasions when attempting to head away any Linfield set-piece deliveries. On this occasion, the ball was only cleared as far as Andrew Clarke whose left-footed strike was deflected into the bottom corner for his seventh goal of the season.

David Healy’s men then had a number of opportunities to double their lead in the following ten minutes but were unable to take them. Daniel Finlayson went agonisingly close as he leapt well to head Kyle McClean’s corner delivery past the post by a matter of inches. Andrew Clarke also hit a low strike just beyond the far post a short time later, before Eetu Vertainen received possession when Glenavon couldn’t clear a corner but he fired a left-footed strike wide.

Gary Hamilton’s men then made Linfield regret those missed opportunities with an eighteenth minute equaliser. It was a well-worked goal as Glenavon defender Conor Kerr showed good vision and execution to clip a ball into Conor McCloskey who ran into the space between the Blues’ right full-back and centre half, and from there the winger kept his eye on the ball as it came down for a sweet volley, low into the net.

That was their only shot in a half in which Linfield were asking all the questions. Andrew Clarke almost restored the champions’ lead with what would have been a repeat of the opener, but this time his low strike was excellently saved by Rory Brown after Glenavon had struggled to clear another corner delivery.

Joel Cooper also had a shot deflected into the side netting following a neat Linfield move, and he almost got on the end of Eetu Vertainen’s low cross to the near post area a short time later, but Glenavon defender Conor Kerr made an excellent challenge.

Half Time: Glenavon 1 – 1 Linfield

Linfield then found their clinical edge in the second half. After Eetu Vertainen had gone close from close range a minute after the break following a goalmouth scramble, the second goal did arrive when Sam Roscoe restored the Blues’ lead on 52 minutes. The central defender pounced upon the ball when it dropped from a corner and he drilled the ball into the far corner like a seasoned striker, for his third goal of the season.

Five minutes later, the Blues struck again to make it 3-1. It was an excellent, swift counter-attack which led to Andrew Clarke getting the ball on the right of the box before hammering a low cross to the near post area where Eetu Vertainen diverted it into the net with a one-touch finish.

Fast forward another seven minutes and Linfield were awarded a penalty. The hosts couldn’t cope with their intensity and conceded a penalty when Daniel Finlayson found a pocket of space inside the box before having his leg caught and he wound up to hit a shot. Chris Shields stepped up to fire the penalty into the bottom right corner.

It was becoming a question of how many, as Linfield looked threatening every time they attacked and second half substitute Jordan Stewart almost got himself on the scoresheet. It would have been an amazing goal as he was found by Chris McKee as the Blues countered a Glenavon corner, and when Stewart spotted the ‘keeper off his line, he connected well with a 40 yard strike, but it didn’t dip quite enough.

The Blues were then awarded another penalty on 78 minutes when the ball was worked again to the dangerous Andrew Clarke on the right and his cross was handled by a defender. Chris Shields stepped up, putting the ball in the same area and it brought the same outcome as he netted his second and Linfield’s fifth.

The cherry on the icing on the cake came when former Manchester United Academy prospect Max Haygarth came on to make his debut before scoring within two minutes. Chris McKee teed up the right winger who slotted the ball into the far corner with his left foot. He could have scored a second a few minutes later, but he scuffed wide after a brilliant run and cutback from full-back Matthew Clarke.

Full Time: Glenavon 1 – 6 Linfield

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