Match Details
Season :
2016/2017
Date :
24th September 2016
Competition :
Irish Premier League
Venue :
Windsor Park
Referee :
Tim Marshall
Linfield Scorers :
Burns 8’, Lowry 12’, Millar 33’, Friars O.G 61’
Linfield Yellow Cards :
Chris Casement, Jimmy Callacher
Teams
Linfield Team :
Carroll (GK), Clingan, Callacher ©, Stafford, M.Clarke, Smyth (Waterworth 70’), Gaynor (Fallon 80’), Lowry, Burns (Bright 76’), Casement, Millar
Linfield Subs not used :
Haughey, Quinn
Ards Team :
Hogg (GK), Hall, Friars, Byers, Ruddy, McCullough, Arthurs (McComb 67’), Tommons (McAllister 46’), McKinney, Keke (Liggett 73’), Jamie Rea.
Ards Subs not used :
J.Hughes, McMullan
Report
Linfield started this afternoon’s league encounter with Ards like a house on fire and there was a sense of justification as Aaron Burns broke the deadlock on eight minutes. Fit again Stephen Lowry dropped into a pocket of space to receive the ball and threaded a neat pass through to Aaron Burns who composed himself before firing into the top corner of the Ards net.

Paul Smyth was causing trouble running over the Ards defenders’ shoulders and it looked like he had assisted Linfield’s second goal when he teed up Burns to fire home again from close range but the linesman adjudged Burns to have been in an offside position when Smyth played his pass.

Linfield’s advantage was extended to two goals on 12 minutes when Paul Smyth burst down the right and fired a cross into the box which was deflected into the path of the onrushing Stephen Lowry who took a touch before burying the ball into the far corner despite Ards' goalkeeper Aaron Hogg’s best attempts.

Burns was really enjoying himself as he attempted a bicycle kick from Matthew Clarke’s cross but it was comfortable for Aaron Hogg in the Ards goal.

It was 3-0 to the Blues on 33 minutes courtesy of a brilliantly worked team goal. Paul Smyth terrorised the Ards defence before feeding Casement on the side of the box who picked out Kirk Millar who coolly fired his shot into the bottom corner.

Ards had the woodwork to thank for keeping it at 3-0 on 40 minutes when Gaynor’s inch-perfect corner was met by the towering Stafford but his powerful header cannoned off the crossbar.

Linfield took their 3-0 lead into the break after a dominant first half in which the Blues produced some entertaining football of the highest quality.

Half Time: Linfield 3 – 0 Ards

After a quieter start to the second half, Linfield found themselves four in front on 61 minutes. Ross Gaynor had time and space to cross and he did so superbly, resulting in Ards defender Emmet Friars slicing his effort horribly into the back of his own net. 4-0.

The visitors almost pulled back a consolation goal minutes later when Keke burst down the left only to see his well struck effort strike Roy Carroll’s near post.

Substitute Andy Waterworth almost got in on the act when he turned Michael Ruddy in the area and fired a low driven effort at goal but it was well stopped by Ards ‘keeper Hogg.

There was a huge injury scare when Roy Carroll fell awkwardly in his area but thankfully, after prolonged treatment from Terry Hayes, the big shot stopper was able to continue to the end of the game.

Linfield saw out the 4-0 lead and took all three points on a positive afternoon with the result matching an excellent Linfield performance. Paul Smyth took the man of the match award but in truth there were many excellent performers in blue today.

Full Time: Linfield 4 – 0 Ards

LinfieldFC.com Man of the Match: Paul Smyth

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