Match Details
Season :
2016/2017
Date :
10th September 2016
Competition :
Irish Premier League
Venue :
Windsor Park
Referee :
Raymond Hethrington
Linfield Scorers :
Gaynor 25’, Stafford 46’, Smyth 72’, Burns 86’.
Portadown Scorer :
Garrett 85'
Teams
Linfield Team :
Carroll, Waterworth, Callacher, Stafford, M.Clarke, Fallon (Bright 69’), Smyth (Millar 72’), Mulgrew (Burns 78’), Gaynor, Casement, Clingan.
Linfield Subs not used :
Ward, Quinn
Portadown Team :
Carson, Rodgers, Byrne, O'Hara, Garrett, Henderson, Hughes (Kirwan 72’), Ferris (McAllister 72’), Shannon (Mouncey 88’), Simpson.
Portadown Subs not used :
McGaughey, Withers
Report
It was back to the bread and butter at Windsor Park this afternoon as Portadown were the visitors for the Danske Bank Premiership fixture. Paul Smyth started his return to the team brightly and almost provided the opener on 15 minutes when he skipped past Portadown defender Mark Carson in the box like he wasn’t there before fizzing in a cross towards Waterworth on the penalty spot but it was crucially cleared by veteran defender Keith O’Hara.

Ross Gaynor produced a fine corner that was met by the leaping Mark Stafford but he saw his header well clawed away by Miskelly in the Ports’ goal.

Linfield broke the deadlock on 25 minutes when Jamie Mulgrew picked out Andrew Waterworth with his back to goal and the striker chested the ball down brilliantly into the path of the onrushing Ross Gaynor who took a touch before slotting the ball into the corner past the outstretched David Miskelly.

The visitors could and probably should have got back on level terms when Linfield failed to deal with a deep free kick into the area, but when the ball fell for Sam Simpson he couldn’t hit the target from 12 yards and fired just wide.

Portadown went close with a well delivered corner from Brendan Shannon which found Alan Byrne but his header sailed just over Roy Carroll’s crossbar. Linfield then took their 1-0 advantage into the break after a competitive first half.

Half Time: Linfield 1 – 0 Portadown

Linfield doubled their advantage on 46 minutes when Paul Smyth’s excellent whipped corner was headed past Miskelly by Mark Stafford. A Portadown defender was scrambling on the back post trying to get the ball away but after a slight hesitation, referee Raymond Hethrington felt the ball did indeed cross the line and awarded the goal amidst Ports’ protests. The initial corner came as a result of a driving run and shot from Jamie Mulgrew which was turned behind by Miskelly.

The Shamrock Park outfit almost got themselves a lifetime as Nathaniel Ferris almost pulled off a spectacular effort, firing a lethal drive just past the far post from an impossible angle.

Sammy Clingan almost got off the mark for the club when Jamie Mulgrew’s cross was headed out into Clingan’s path and his powerful half-volley flew past the upright to Miskelly’s relief.

They say it shows the quality of a goalkeeper to come up with an important save after having little to do in the game, and that was the case with Roy Carroll as he got down well to his right to push away Niall Henderson’s low drive.

Paul Smyth grabbed a well-deserved goal to seal the win for Linfield on his 19th birthday. He was allowed time and space by the Portadown defence to bring the ball down brilliantly before poking the ball into the corner past Miskelly. 3-0.

Kris Bright almost added a fourth on 83 minutes when Kirk Millar whipped in a cross for Bright who was lurking at the back post, followed by a left footed volley that was smothered by Miskelly at the second attempt.

Former Linfield midfielder Robert Garrett pulled a goal back for Portadown with five minutes remaining as he drilled a stunning strike into the top corner after receiving the ball for Mark McAllister’s short corner.

Substitute Aaron Burns wrapped up the scoring for Linfield when he nipped in ahead of the Ports ‘keeper to nod into the corner from Kirk Millar’s tempting cross. Andy Waterworth did fire home from another excellent Millar delivery but it was chalked off for offside.

Full Time: Linfield 4 – 1 Portadown

LinfieldFC.com Man of the Match: Jamie Mulgrew

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