A historic game today, though I doubt it’s one you’d be talking about for years to come, as Warrenpoint Town visited Windsor Park for the first time.
Linfield’s impressive run of form began with a win against Warrenpoint, and was expected to continue against them.
Warrenpoint came to defend a frustrate, but that didn’t stop Linfield creating chances, mostly going wide and stretching the game. Sometimes, the final pass was just short, on other occasions, missing when they should have scored, or in the case of Matthew Tipton, forcing Warrenpoint’s keeper into a top class save from close range.
It looked like being “One of those days”, but thankfully, it wasn’t, as Andrew Waterworth put Linfield 1-0 up from close range.
From there, there was only one winner, but the insurance of a 2nd goal was still needed, and it came, created by Waterworth, just before half-time, when his cross (though it looked like a shot to me) was diverted in by Warrenpoint defender.
Game over, Linfield went 3-0 up early in the second-half when persistence from Michael Gault saw him win possession to cross for Matthew Tipton to head home. Tipton made it 4-0, but the goal will be remembered for Michael Carvill controlling the ball as it came out of the air, taking Warrenpoint’s defence out of the game, to set up Tipton.
Ironically, Warrenpoint became more attacking when they were 4-0 down, and scored from a penalty, though Linfield had a 4 goal lead again within minuted through Andrew Waterworth.
With a comfortable lead, Linfield allowed themselves the opportunity to give Brian McFaul and Conor McMenamin some game time.
Though the team has been mostly unchanged the past two months, it’s important that other players in the squad are ready for action when needed, such as James Knowles (Remember him?) when Michael Gault serves a 2 match ban next week.
A few weeks ago, i’d mentioned how Linfield needed to improve their goal difference, especially in relation to teams around them. The last 3 games have improved it by 10, 6 more than 2nd place Crusaders, as well as the 6 point lead over them.
Some big games coming up for Linfield, a League Cup Quarter-Final against Crusaders on Tuesday, and a trip to Dungannon next Saturday. Dungannon is one of my favourite away grounds, so hoping to be snap happy there.
Cliftonville away at the end of the month. Still haven’t decided wether to go, the joy of Bubble Matches.
Talking of nonsensical arrangements, you have to question why the County Antrim Shield Final is all ticket. Clearly an over-reaction to negative headlines after the Semi-Final. It’s as if those is charge want to stop people from going to matches.
Having seen the bottom two the past week, I think Ards might have too much for Warrenpoint. Hopefully, Warrenpoint will be able to host games at their own ground in January when Linfield are scheduled to visit. Never been there, and always enjoy visiting new geounds.
Though wether they would go down if they finish bottom, depending on who wins The Championship.
Was a bit surprised that Bangor didn’t apply for a licence to get promoted, as I always enjoy visiting there. Of the 4 clubs who have applied, my preferred choices to go up would be Carrick (never been), Institute (never been) or Larne (Haven’t been since 2005)
Apologies for no blog last week, I didn’t get any good pictures.
Anyway, onwards and upwards. Lots of away games coming up, a couple of big cup ties. Isn’t it all getting a bit exciting?