Sitting in the house, being warm and comfortable, I dragged myself outside to head to Windsor Park to see Linfield take on Ballinamallard United. Thankfully, it was worth it.
Ballinamallard arrived at Windsor Park defending a proud 100% record at the venue, having won on both their visits last season. In fact, it was a fixture that had never been won, or even led by a home team.
For the first few minutes, Ballinamallard had the better of it without dominating. The only real moment of danger for Linfield came from a long range shot.
Gradually, Linfield took control of the game, and took the lead on 20 minutes when Andrew Waterworth headed home from a Billy Joe Burns.
Linfield stayed in control without getting the much needed 2nd goal, going in at half-time 1-0 up.
Linfield began the second-half in control again, creating chances and situations, more often than not having their crosses blocked or just fall short. At the other end, Linfield were snuffing out Ballinamallard attacks.
Thankfully, the goal came, as Andrew Waterworth was put clear of the Ballinamallard defence. Even though the goal was scored by Mark McAllister, most of the credit has to go to Waterworth.
He was too wide to score and had to cross it. Mark McAllister was the only player running forward into the penalty area and the pass had to be perfectly timed for him to score. It was.
From there, the game was won, with substitute Matthew Tipton making it 3-0 from the penalty spot soon afterwards.
One new face in the team was summer signing Mark Haughey, belatedly making a debut in the centre of defence. He didn’t have much to do, but what he did, he did well.
Given the weather conditions, a scrappy 1-0 would have done for me. Very delighted with a 3-0 win, as reduces Crusaders Goal Difference advantage, and it meant Linfield went top outright after Crusaders draw today.
Next on the agenda, is Monday’s Irish Cup draw. Ideally, a lower league team away at a ground i’ve never been to, or haven’t been to for a while. My hope is for Dundela, Carrick or Ards (In that order of want) away.
Anyway, Irish Cup isn’t until next month. It’s all about Portadown next week.