DUNGANNON SWIFTS 0-1 LINFIELD 30.8.2014

After dropped points against Institute and a League Cup exit to Ballyclare, Linfield looked to get their season back on track with a win against Dungannon Swifts at Stangmore Park, a ground they lost at last season.

Even before kick-off, the dropped points at Institute were already starting to bite. Ballymena’s defeat at Glenavon on Friday night meant Linfield would have went top with a win, had they won at Drumahoe last week.

With a game against Cliftonville coming up, and a free Saturday while others play, getting three points on the board, even at this early stage, was important.

It was Dungannon who had the best chance of the opening moments when Kris Lowe get clear from a long ball, forcing
Jonathan Tuffey into a double save. It was too easy, as Linfield were once again defensively suspect.

Like the other games this season, it showed that Linfield need another striker, with Warren Feeney playing up front in a 4-5-1, simply because, we don’t have 2 fit strikers.

Towards the end of the half, Linfield became on top, creating chances. Unlike in previous games where they had possessions and situations, Linfield had actual shots on goal, forcing Dungannon’s keeper into a string of saves.

Nothing world class though, but still enough to make their keeper worried. In some situations though, players were shooting from impossible angles.

Having complained previously about not shooting, it would be hypocritical to complain about players taking too many shots.

With the score at half-time 0-0, there was a danger this could go the way of Ballyclare. The first goal was going to be vital in this game.

We didn’t have to wait long for the first goal, and thankfully, it went to Linfield, as a Matthew Clarke cross fell to Ivan Sproule, who fired home, just 55 seconds into the half.

Within a minute, it was almost 2-0, as Ivan Sproule’s run resulted in the ball falling to Kirk Millar, who was unable to fire home.

Despite this, Dungannon were still in the game and had chances to equalise. Linfield’s fragility in defence means that you are always worried that the opposition might get one, especially with Josh Cahoon’s late equaliser in a game Linfield dominated in October 2012 still a recent memory.

Linfield’s defence gives opposition hope. When you have a good defensive record, it can suck the life out of opponents, meaning that if you are 1-0 up after 75 minutes, they can feel the game is up. Linfield’s defending gives opposition hope of a late goal.

Most frustrating was distribution of possession when in defence, winning second balls, but losing the ball on the ground.

There was a late scare as a long ball into the box saw Jonathan Tuffey run out and collide with a Dungannon player. I was at the other end and haven’t seen a TV replay, but a lot of the fans where I was feared the worst.

You don’t want a keeper who stays on his line, but you’ve got to pick your battles. Like Institute’s goal last week, this was one ball he never had a chance of getting.

Michael Carvill, disappointing on Monday (as the most senior, in terms of Irish League experience, player on the pitch) came on for a sub and was Linfield’s main attacking threat as the game became stretched with Dungannon going for an equaliser, creating opprtunities for others, including fellow sub Andrew Waterworth, thankfully returning to fitness.

Thankfully, the lack of a second goal didn’t come back to haunt Linfield, as they moved level with Ballymena in second, one point behind new leaders Cliftonville.

Tuesday’s game is massive, not just in terms of points, but in making a statement of intent. Too many times in recent years, Linfield have not shown up at Solitude.

The importance is increased due to not having a game next Saturday while others are playing, before welcoming Warrenpoint Town to Windsor Park on September 13th.

I enjoy away games, and travelling to away games, but i’ve missed the burgery aroma of Windsor Park. I’m looking forward to seeing the redevelopment in person, not just in two weeks time, but over the next two years.

Hopefully, we’ll have three more points in the bag by then.

Photo Album

BALLYCLARE COMRADES 1-0 LINFIELD 25.8.2014

There’s no way to put a gloss on this, as Warren Feeney’s first taste of domestic cup action saw Linfield fall to a deserved defeat against second tier opponents.

48 hours after the league game against Institute, it’s no surprise that there many changes from the team that started on Saturday, nine in fact.

It’s easy to question the team in retrospect, but if Warren Feeney kept the same team, and then Linfield didn’t win on Saturday, people would have been quick to complain.

Yes, there were a lot of kids playing, but there was also a lot of senior Irish League players. Haughey, Quinn, Carvill, Glendenning and Clarke have played enough games not to be considered inexperienced youngsters.

The team that started last night should have been good enough to win.

Linfield had some early pressure in the game, but didn’t get a shot on goal, it was mostly misplaced crossed and defenders getting a final touch to clear the ball.

If Linfield had went 1-0 up, it would have set them up for a comfortable victory.

“If” is the biggest word in football. If Linfield went 1-0 up when on top at Portadown ….. If Linfield went 2-0 up when they were on top at Institute ……

Ballyclare’s attacking play for most of the first-half was restricted to speculative long range shots. That had a chance towards the end of the first-half when they got behind Linfield’s defence, but the shot was fired over. It should have served as a warning.

Like on Saturday, Linfield couldn’t get going in the second-half, and when Ballyclare got an attempt on goal, they scored.

In a game like this, the first goal was going to be crucial. If Linfield got it, it would have been a comfortable victory. Now that Ballyclare got it, they had something to defend and hang on to, not that they were actually hanging on at any point in the second-half.

Soon afterwards, Warren Feeney and Kirk Millar were brought off the bench. Millar, is quickly becoming Linfield’s most important attacking player. He didn’t have the best of games. There was no Plan B.

Ross Clarke, a player I have previously championed, was disappointing all night.

We learnt that Linfield were defensive shaky and in desperate need of another striker. In short, we learnt nothing new.

For the last ten minutes, Ballyclare were comfortable, which was the most damming thing about the performance. Linfield never looked like scoring

Photo Album

INSTITUTE 1-1 LINFIELD 23.8.2014

After two wins in a row after opening day defeat, Linfield aimed to capitalise on this momentum as they travelled to newly promoted Institute.

It was my first visit to the stadium, and it was very impressive, catering to people’s needs. Seats if you want to sit, terraces if you want to stand, no segregation, and a tuck shop under the stand if you need refreshments.

The first-half, was all Linfield, with many chances on goal. The only one that was converted, was by Ivan Sproule, facing his former club for the first time since leaving them for Hibernian in 2005.

At that point, it was hard to see anything other than a comfortable Linfield win.

To use a cliche, it was “A game of two halves” as Institute gave Linfield an early warning, when they had a goal disallowed for offside, that this game was far from over.

Having been a spectator in the first-half, Jonathan Tuffey was now having saves to make. With Linfield continuing to be defensively fragile, Institute were continuing to create chances to the point that a goal was inevitible.

Despite that, Linfield had their chances to kill the game, most notably a Jimmy Callacher header from a free-kick. No matter how well Institute played, if it had went to 2-0, it would have been game over.

With five minutes to go, Institute got a deserved equaliser when a free-kick into the box was headed in by Paddy McLaughlin. Defence and keeper in no man’s land

Even though it was a deserved point for Institute, it was two points dropped. At 1-0 up with five minutes to go, Linfield should have had enough to see the game out.

There was a fear that when Institute did score, it would be too late for Linfield to react and get a winner, and so it proved, though Mark Haughey had a goal disallowed for offside.

Thankfully, both Cliftonville and Crusaders dropped points, so the draw wasn’t as catastrophic as it should have been, it’s still two points dropped, as a win would have seen us go 2nd, only 1 point off the top.

Up next, is Ballyclare in the League Cup, the start of a busy run of games over the next two weeks. There’s a break on the International Weekend in September with the Crusaders game postponed due to call-ups.

As a result of falling a game behind so early in the season, it’s important to keep winning to keep close to the top. It’s better to have the points on board than games in hand.

Even more important, with the return game against Institute being postponed, due to it being on the same day as Northern Ireland v Faroe Islands (Honestly, we could play Institute with a lunchtime kick-off), we’ll be two games behind in mid October.

I was looking forward to the Crusaders game in September, but the postponement is the right decision as Linfield would be going into the game without Aaron Burns and Kirk Millar.

Millar, making his first start, was the go to guy for all Linfield’s attacks, who made everything happen, showing a creativity that Linfield have lacked in recent years.

Crusaders fans can complain about the postponement, but Linfield should be acting in the interests of Linfield and nobody else, and it’s in Linfield’s interest to play as many games with Millar and Burns available.

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THE KILLERS – LIVE AT BOUCHER ROAD PLAYING FIELDS 21.8.2014 (TENNENT’S VITAL)

After a seven year absence, myself, like The Killers, was at Tennent’s Vital last week. My last Tennent’s Vital gig in 2007 wasn’t for The Killers, it was for Manic Street Preachers/Razorlight the night before.

It was my 4th Vital, having been in 2002 (the very first one, in a tent in Botanic Gardens), 2005 and 2007 (Ormeau Park) – I had now been to three of the four venues used for Vital.

I’d been unsure how the venue would work, being on a main commuter route on a weekday, and then getting out. I was impressed as I had no bother getting in or out of the venue.

There was even a big wheel, if you were that way inclined. I didn’t go on it.

One downside, was there being a pit. I arrived at 5.30pm and all the passes were gone. I managed to get a good view, but I would have preferred a better. Especially frustrating, as there was plenty of space in it when the concert was ongoing.

First on stage, was drummer Ronnie Vanucci, doing a drum solo. Each other member of the band walked on, and began playing their instrument.

With each layer, it became obvious they were going to start with “Somebody Told Me”, and when singer Brandon Flowers joined the stage, that’s what happened.

Exactly 18 months after their last gig in Belfast, The Killers were ready to go.

It was the last night of their, as they asked the crowd if they were ready to make it one to remember. They were.

Having released a Greatest Hits compilation in 2013, that’s where most of the setlist came from, playing hits such as “Smile Like You Mean It”, “Spaceman”, “Runaways” and “All These Things I’ve Done”

They even fooled the audience, by playing a slow, piano led version of “Human”, before abandoning it, and then playing the version we all know later on.

There were also covers, which will have pleased the locals, doing a cover of a song by, what Brandon Flowers described as “Stroke City’s finest”, The Undertones (Teenage Kicks), quite apt, on the day of the death of the man who coined the phrase “Stroke City”

They also did a cover of “Brown Eyed Girl” by Van Morrison, just as they did at The Odyssey in 2013.

We were even treated to an extended drum solo from Ronnie Vanucci when Brandon Flowers asked him if he’d brought his dancing shoes.

The band had spent the day before the gig in Northern Ireland, exploring some tourist spots, with Ronnie enjoying Bushmills Distillery (hmmm, possible headline slot at Bushmills Live in 2015?), while others went to Giants Causeway, before having a Guinness in “The Crowns”

I think Brandon Flowers needs to brush up on his pub names of Belfast.

Their encore began with “Shot At The Night”, the lead single of their Greatest Hits album, and included “When We Were Young”, before ending on “Mr Brightside”

Photo Album

The Killers Live At The Odyssey 2013

The Killers Live At The Odyssey 2013 Photo Album

BASTILLE – LIVE AT BOUCHER ROAD PLAYING FIELDS 21.8.2014 (TENNENT’S VITAL)

“The first time we played here was a place called The Oh Yeah Centre. This is a bit bigger” said Bastille singer Dan Smith inbetween songs. Bit of an understatement that, but not a surprise, for one of the success stories of 2013.

Bastille, had already played bigger Belfast venues since that Oh Yeah Centre gig, playing a sold out gig at Ulster Hall in October 2013.

Their introduction to the stage caught a lot of people by surprise. As a playlist of upbeat current pop hits was played, then suddenly the theme tune to Twin Peaks came on, to which the band just walked on stage, taking some of the crowd by surprising.

Considering that Bastille have a song called Laura Palmer, it shouldn’t have been that much of a surprise that the song was to signal the band’s entrance.

Upon entry to the stage, it was straight into “All This Bad Blood”

They might have been supporting The Killers, but it wasn’t a bad time for them to be onstage, just after 7pm, with the sun still shining.

With only one album to their name, most of the material came from that, hits such as “Laura Palmer” and “Things We Lost In The Fire”, but they did try out some new material.

Not afraid of a cover, they did their own version of “No Scrubs” by TLC.

The crowd managed to get a close-up glimpse of singer Dan Smith, as he jumped into the crowd. Not content with being in the pit area, he went into the rest of the crowd, just so that those with pass wristbands don’t get all of the glory.

By his own admission, he stated that he “Wasn’t a very good dancer”, trying to set up a dance move for the crowd to do. With mixed results.

They ended with their two biggest hits, “Of The Night” and “Pompeii”

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HEART OF MIDLOTHIAN 2-1 HIBERNIAN 17.8.2014

I was at Tynecastle recently for a historic occasion (there was even a special cover on the souvenir programme) – the first league meeting of Hearts and Hibs outside the top flight.

Given Hearts domination of this fixture, and the fact that Hearts fans can remember their team winning the Scottish Cup, there’s not a lot for Hibs fans to gloat at their rivals about.

When Hearts were given a points deduction last season and virtually condemned to relegation, Hibs even managed to mess that one up, and get relegated themselves.

My previous visit to Tynecastle was in 2011, a European match against Tottenham Hotspur. Teams like Tottenham Hotspur are off the agenda for Hearts these days, it’s all about teams like Alloa, Dumbarton and Cowedenbeath, with games against Rangers and Hibs adding a deceptive glamour to life in the second tier.

I’d previously been to an Edinburgh Derby, in 2012, at Easter Road. It was easy enough to get a ticket for that game, with Hibs fans still suffering doom and gloom from their 5-1 drubbing in that year’s Scottish Cup Final.

With a new wave of positivity around Hearts as they aim for promotion, and an opening day win at Ibrox, getting a ticket for this was going to be hard, I used the tactic of standing around the ticket office hoping that someone would be selling, and I got lucky, behind the goal where Hearts fans are based.

For the first-half, Hibs were the better team without dominating. Hearts fans knew it, and were nervous. For all their possession, Hibs weren’t dominant, but looked the most likely to score. Towards the end of the first-half, Hibs got a golden opportunity to take the lead when they were awarded a penalty for a foul by Hearts goalkeeper Jack Hamilton, making his debut.

It was a soft penalty. From where I was, I thought it was a penalty. Having looked back at TV replays, i’m not so sure. It didn’t matter as Liam Craig missed. He properly missed it, wide of the post, not even forcing Hamilton into a save.

There is something about Hibs, that their inability to take an opportunity to them like this didn’t even come as a surprise.

Hearts fans celebrated the miss as if it was a goal, and it brought new life to Hearts. What few attacks Hearts had in the first-half came through Sam Nicholson.

Hearts improved in the second-half, but no matter how hard both teams, now attacking goals with their fans behind, tried, it looked set to be a 0-0 draw. Hibs fans urged their team on by chanting “Alan Stubbs Green and White Army”, tho which Hearts fans countered with “There’s Only One Terry Butcher”, a tribute to the manager who took Hibs down.

The game changed in a five minute spell. Sam Nicholson nutmegged a defender to give himself some space and score from outside the box.

I was right behind that goal. As soon as he hit it, you knew it was going in. Tynecastle went wild. Within minutes, Hearts won a penalty when Prince Buaben was fouled by Scott Robertson. Buaben was going nowhere. To further rub it in for Hibs, Robertson got a second yellow. A quite spectacular capitulation by Hibs.

Buaben casually strode up, and put the penalty into the net. Game over.

A few minutes later, Osman Sow was sent-off for an elbow, making it ten a side.

In injury time, some slack defending by Hearts, Farid El Alahui made it 2-1. There was still two minutes of injury time to go. Suddenly, it was the Hearts fans who were nervous.

The problem for Hibs was, they couldn’t get the ball, as Hearts played the ball to the corner flag, winning throw-ins, much to Hibs players frustrations, whose fiesty tackling and response from Hearts players threatened to have the game boil over.

Hibs couldn’t get another chance and Hearts held on for the win. New division, same Hearts domination.

As I walked out of the stadium, I overheard a conversation between two Hearts fans, once of whom expressed his surprised that there were Hibs fans leaving with the score at 1-0, and plenty of time in the game to go.

His friend simply responded, “They know”

Photo Album

Hibs v Hearts 2012

Hibs v Hearts 2012 Photo Album

THE EDINBURGH CELEB SPOTTING BLOG 2014

With Edinburgh hosting the world’s biggest comedy festival, there’s a very good chance you might spot some celebrities – or at least some people of been on some TV show you’ve seen.

So, as ever, I kept an eye out, and bring you the mundane spottings of slightly known people doing things and walking in places.

Thursday 14th August

Mark Dolan, walking at Potterrow.

Henry Blofeld, flyering at Edinburgh University

Friday 15th August

Seann Walsh, walking in the park near Underbelly.

Rory McGrath, walking through the Underbelly Beer Garden.

Sunday 17th August

Henning Wehn, outside Tynecastle.

Hibs team bus, stuck at a red light on Lothian Road

David O’Doherty, pushing his bike outside McEwan Hall.

Al Murray, walking along Bristo Squae, wearing a beret.

2013 Celeb Spotting

2012 Celeb Spotting

2011 Celeb Spotting

EDINBLOG 2014

A few weeks back, I headed to Edinburgh to take in the Fringe Festival. It was the 6th successive year i’ve attended it. Not going to lie, I love this event, that’s why I keep coming back.

Usually, I arrive in the city on a Saturday, but this year I made it a Thursday to Monday trip. I’d consider myself to be an Edinburgh Veteran, so the trip began in usual fashion – an early morning flight, then a trip to the Ticket Office.

It’s a bit of a risk to wait until arrival to buy tickets, as a lot of shows sell out quickly, I usually find it easy enough to get a good schedule.

It might sound sad, but I plan what I want to see, and have back-up options, just in case.

I didn’t get some of my first choice options, so I had to switch some of my schedule around to accommodate other nights which had tickets available.

I decided to keep some windows open in order to wait and see what to get to fill those gaps, later in the trip.

The first thing you notice when you arrive in Edinburgh ………. they have Trams!!!!

It’s a sad development for the world of comedy, as in previous years, comedians weren’t slow in putting a gag or reference to the much delayed tram line.

As a result of delays getting my baggage, I missed out on being in the audience of MacAulay and Co, which I had a ticket for that morning. Frustratingly, David O’Doherty was a guest that day.

I try to get a mixture of people i’d seen before, and people I haven’t seen. David O’Doherty is one I have to see everytime i’m in Edinburgh. I tried to get tickets for his show but it was sold out, which made it even more frustrating.

I’d planned to see my first show that afternoon, a musical of the movie Ghostbusters, but I got lost trying to find the venue (yes, even Edinburgh Veterans get lost sometimes) and missed it.

Later that evening, I went to my first show of the Fringe – Tedfest, a show based on the Festival/Fan Convention of the TV show Father Ted.

It had a World Cup style comedian battle, a talent show, and of course, a (mock) Lovely Girls Competition. It had it’s moments, most notably when the compere asked people to stand for the national anthem, and “Ghost Town” by The Specials was played, but overall, it just wasn’t that funny.

Friday began with MacAulay and Co, always a pleasure, with guests that day including Alun Cochrane and Tom Rosenthal.

On Friday afternoon, I went to see a show called The 56, a show about the Bradford Fire in 1985.

There was no plot, just three actors reading and acting out real life testimonies of people who survived the fire. It was well acted, to the point where it felt like a hard watch at times.

I got lucky with my dates, that Paul Merton was performing when I was there. Paul Merton only does a few dates in Edinburgh each year, and some years i’ve missed out on seeing him because the dates didn’t match.

The show, Paul Merton’s Impro Chums, sees him, and collaborators, including his wife, performing Improvised Comedy.

That evening, I went to see Frisky and Mannish. I’d had them recommended to me in previous years, and finally decided to go and see them in 2013 …… except, they didn’t have a show that year.

Their show this year, was a musical comedy looking at popculture and it’s best meltdowns, and how they struggled to come up with an appropriate anthem for feminism. They were very funny, especially when they sang all of Sinead O’Connor’s unpublished open letters to various pop stars.

My next show on Friday was Margaret Thatcher : Queen Of Soho, a musical comedy about how Margaret Thatcher became the Queen of Soho.

Margaret Thatcher is the lead character, telling her story, in a laugh a minute show, which isn’t afraid to make fun of her, as she offers a bottle of milk to an audience member, and gets into an arguement with fellow cast members, and tells them “I won’t hesitate about making people unemployed”

When asked by one of her staff is she should screw over the Lib Dems, she simply replies “No, we might need them some day”

There is also a talking picture of Winston Churchill.

From there, I headed to the Comedywealth Games, presented by Mark Watson. I’d wanted to see Mark Watson’s show, so this was the next best thing.

Comedywealth Games was, unsurprisingly, a comedy version of the Commonwealth Games, where comedians competed against each other in a range of events, none of which were athletic based, including sock pairing, eating fruit on a treadmill, and a sack race.

The night I went had Mark Steel representing England. Romesh Ranganathan was due to represent Sri Lanka, so Mark Steel’s son Elliott took his place. It was the day before his 18th birthday. As the show began after 11, he celebrated his birthday midway through the show.

The final competitor was Andrew Maxwell, from the Republic of Ireland.. As Republic Of Ireland is not a member of the Commonwealth, a draw was made to assign him a country. He was assigned Kiribati.

After spending some time on Wikipedia before the show Andrew Maxwell was now a patriotic Kiribatian.

Star of the show, was an audience member called Darren, who was picked to assist the competitors. He was “slightly worse for wear” and spent most of his time swearing and making rude gestures.

The crowd loved him, and chanted his name everytime Mark Watson asked for a member of the crowd to assist.

For the record, England and Kiribati were level on the medals table, with England winning 2-1 on a Rock/Sissors/Paper Play-Off.

The first part of Saturday was mostly football dominated, having a pub lunch to watch Man United v Swansea, then to see Sid Lowe do a talk about his book, Fear And Loathing In La Liga, a look at the rivalry between Barcelona and Real Madrid.

That evening, I went to see Axis Of Awesome. I’d previously had them recommended to me. It was a musical comedy, very much in the style of Flight Of The Conchords, with each member taking it in turns to be the butt of the others jokes.

The highlight of the show was when they performed “4 Chords“, a series of pop classics to the tune of “Don’t Stop Believing” by Journey, showing how so many songs use the same 4 chords.

I had an unexpected bonus on the Saturday night, as David O’Doherty performed an extra show at 11pm, due to demand. It was classic O’Doherty, with his surreal sense of humour having the crowd in stitches.

Sunday afternoon was spent at Tynecastle watching Hearts v Hibs. From there, I had a very long walk to see John Lloyd’s Museum Of Curiosity, a very QI type show, unsurprisingly, considering that John Lloyd was the creator of QI.

My final show, came on the Sunday night, called “What Does The Title Matter Anyway?”, though it was listed in the festival programme (published in early June) as “Whose Live Show Is It Anyway?, which sounds a bit like “Whose Line Is It Anyway?”

It was hosted by Clive Anderson, who hosted Whose Line Is It Anyway? and featured Whose Line ….. regulars such as Greg Proops and Stephen Frost.

Anderson, a former lawyer, was quick to point out that this show was totally different from Whose Line Is It Anyway? I feel it’s only fair to repeat what he said.

Whatever the legalities, the audience didn’t care about that, they were only there for laughs, which they got, from the mapcap and surreal situations the show provided. It was a good way to end Edinburgh 2014.

I always keep meaning to explore Scotland when i’m there, possibly taking a day trip to Glasgow or Stirling. But there’s so much going on in Edinburgh, it seems a shame to leave the city while you’re there, even for a day.

Edinblog 2013

Edinblog 2012

Edinblog 2011

Edinblog 2010

Edinblog 2009

GLENTORAN 2-3 LINFIELD 13.8.2014

After a 3-0 defeat to Portadown on the opening day, a trip to East Belfast awaited Linfield, in Warren Feeney’s first derby game as manager.

With Linfield surprisingly attacking their own fans in the first-half, the game started off very open, with both teams having promising attacks.

Midway through the first-half, Warren Feeney, the player, entered the action, as a substitute, giving the Glentoran fans a new panto villain to boo.

The match sharpness wasn’t always there, but the first touch and control was. At times, it felt as though he was trying too hard, trying to be everywhere on the pitch at once.

The first-half was a repeat of the previous Saturday’s game at Portadown, with Linfield having a lot of possession and situations, but no end product, and not a shot on target of worth.

Just as the first-half looked set to be goalless, Linfield got too casual in their left-back position, conceding a soft free-kick.

With Glentoran not having a shot on goal yet, and getting a soft free-kick in first-half stoppage time, it was inevitable what was going to happen, and so it did ……. a David Scullion header puts Glentoran 1-0 up.

If there was one positive, it was that the goal came right at the end of the first-half, meaning that Warren Feeney could get the team straight away to try and resolve the situation.

What Linfield needed, and what was missing on Saturday, was an early second-half fightback. We got one. Unfortunately, by then, it was already 2-0 to Glentoran.

Going 3-0 down shortly after going 2-0 down did for Linfield on Saturday, you cannot underestimate the importance of Aaron Burns header, minutes after David Scullion’s 2nd goal.

Glentoran’s 2 goal lead was quickly wiped out, and it was back to where we started the 2nd half.

Linfield looked worringly fragile in defence, but had renewed belief going forward.

With just under 20 minutes to go, the equaliser came, when Kirk Miller ran with the ball and played the pass to Peter Thompson. As soon as he got the ball, you just knew he was going to score. It was Vintage Thompson.

The only downside, was Sean Ward’s injury in the build-up, winning the ball for Kirk Miller to go on his run.

The pessimist in me thought it was set up for an injury-time 3-2 Glentoran win.

As the game headed towards it’s final stages, Linfield had a late rally. One of those attacks, saw Jimmy Callacher get a second yellow card for a late tackle.

As the game looked set to end a draw, Linfield had one last attack. Warren Feeney ran on to a goal kick but saw his shot saved by Elliott Morris for a corner. The resulting corner went out for another corner.

As the ball went out, I looked at my watch, it said 94:20 – there was only 20 seconds left. It was now or never.

The corner came in, and the ball was put into the net by Aaron Burns. I couldn’t see how, nor did I care.

Warren Feeney’s domestic reign had finally got it’s first win, and in dramatic style.

Photo Album