It was Plan B and back to earth with a bump for Linfield last night, as they faced a friendly away to Derriaghy CC instead of preparing for a UEFA Cup tie against Standard Liege.
It wasn’t Linfield’s first visit to Seycon Park, as they visited there in 2011 for a pre-season game. Even though i’d been there before, i’d managed to get lost en route, as Seycon Park isn’t the easiest ground to find.
It’s a nice wee ground for watching football when the weather is nice, as the host club put on a barbecue. Pity it wasn’t barbecue weather, but it wasn’t awful weather.
It was a different Linfield team from those which faced Fuglafjordur and Xanthi, as players who didn’t start those games were given a run out. It was anything but a second string team, considering the likes of Mulgrew, McCaul, Tipton, McAllister, Quinn and Ross Glendenning, as well as players who have played first team football such as Reece Glendenning and Ross Clarke were in the starting 11.
It was, however, one of the lesser known players, Rodney Brown, who opened the scoring, before Mark McAllister controlled the ball before finishing for 2-0.
In the 2011 game, Linfield went 2-0 up an stopped, it was job done. Not tonight.
Shortly afterwards, Linfield got a soft penalty (from where I was) which was missed by Brian McCaul. It was the worst sort of penalty miss, where he tried to be clever and stopping his run, before hitting one post and missing the other before going out.
I get the feeling if he did that in a competitive game, it might not have been laughed off by player and fans as it was last night.
He would regret that as well, as he scored two goals soon afterwards to give Linfield a 4-0 lead.
Early in the second-half, Ross Clarke, the focal point for most of Linfield’s attacking, put in a superb cross for Matthew Tipton to head home from close range.
An expected win, but the night was about giving some players match practice, which they got. The weather fluctuated during the night, with spells of brightness making it easy for phototaking. Seycon Park is handy for amateur photography. I was so close to the pitch, I did ballboy twice.