For the first time in six weeks, I was at Windsor Park, with Portadown the visitors.
For Linfield, there are only two aims left this season : To qualify for Europe via the league, and to try and win the Setanta Cup.
I’m hoping today’s game was to lull Shamrock Rovers into a false sense of security. It was awful, following on from last week where even the simple pass seemed like an impossible task.
Portadown didn’t really create a lot of chances, but had promising situations.
As the first-half looked like ending 0-0, Michael Gault put Linfield in front, after a wayward Robert Garrett shot landed at his feet.
The second-half was much better, but again the final pass was always going astray.
Ross Clarke was a massive positive from the game, the most likely to make things happen, even if he was a bit ball greedy at times. That said, it was great to see a player want the ball, run with it, and try to make things happen.
Eventually, Linfield made it 2-0 after Mark McAllister miscontrolled in a shooting position, before a Portadown clearance hit him and went in. If ever a goal summed up a game, that was it. They all count, as they say.
Importantly, Portadown became the first away team to fail to score at Windsor Park since October. It was Linfield’s 5th home clean sheet of the season. It took until October to reach that stat last season.
Talking of stats, Linfield are now unbeaten in 15 league games, 10 wins and 5 draws, 14 more points than the preceding 15 games.
However, such an unbeaten run is too late. Hopefully, we can finish the season strongly, to have a bit of momentum for next season.
Coleraine’s draw today means were are 10 points clear of 4th, but that is deceptive, as if Glentoran win their two games in hand, they will be 5 points behind us.
That’s why throwing away the win last week was so costly.
Pre-match, I got myself a ticket for the Setanta Cup game away to Shamrock Rovers. I’ve never been to Tallaght Stadium, so i’m looking forward to it. After this, I think UCD Bowl will be the only Dublin stadium I haven’t been to.
Just seen on the official website that the club shop is opening late on Wednesday when the tickets go on sale for guests of Season Ticket holders go on sale. Later opening of the club shop (even if it’s one day a week) in the build-up to a ticketed game is something that should be happening, as people who worked 9-5 can’t get to Windsor during the week.
It’s good to see that the club are listening to fans regarding making tickets available to non ST holders/Members via the “Plus 1” system. They should never have been told to though.
Speaking from experience, I spent 8 years in employment which meant in some cases Saturday work, and thus couldn’t commit to a Season Ticket, but still went to the vast majority of games.
Why the Security Meeting is taking place after tickets go on sale baffles me. Surely all arrangements should be decided before tickets go on sale? Could this not have been brought forward to this week?
In October 2010, I blogged about the hassle and inconvenience involved in purchasing tickets for Linfield games. Over 2 years on, this is still the case.