Since his appointment as Linfield manager, it’s been an emotional rollercoaster for David Healy, going from Everything Is Awful (Ballinamallard) to Everything is Brilliant (Warrenpoint) back to Everything Is Awful (Carrick) then back to Everything Is Brilliant (Cliftonville)
He’s soon learning, if he didn’t know already, that everything at Windsor Park is magnified.
Today, he took his side to Stangmore Park, where Linfield lose every three years on average (2007, 2010, 2013), so that was a good omen, as they’re not due to lose there until next year.
However, they do draw there every three years (2009, 2012), so would that be his fate today?
Linfield began the game with a lot of posession but not doing a lot with it. Their first shot on goal was a Niall Quinn free-kick fired over.
Dungannon were a lot more productive with their possession, with Paul McElroy, who recently scored a long range goal against Cliftonville, trying his luck again, only to be denied by Ross Glendinning, while Glendinnign was in the right place to easily catch an Ally Teggart flick from a cross.
It took 30 minutes for Linfield to get a clear view of goal, Andrew Waterworth firing a shot agonisingly wide after creating some space in the penalty area.
Towards the end of the half, Linfield were pegging Dungannon in their own penalty area from set pieces, Jimmy Callacher having a header cleared off the line, while Mark Haughey and Guy Bates had headers stay out in the same scramble.
0-0 at half-time, not a new scenario for Linfield, their two visits to Dungannon last season had been 0-0 at half-time, before going on to win the game.
At half-time, my glasses snapped when I was cleaning them, which made the second-half an awkward prosepect. Stood at the end where Linfield were attacking, my view wasn’t too bad when Linfield were attacking, though not so great when the ball was at the other end. Hopefully, the ball wouldn’t be up there too much.
At that moment, I was so grateful that Linfield’s away kit was a bright shade of orange.
Linfield started the second-half better, and took the lead when a stray header back to Dungannon goalkeeper Andy Coleman was intercepted by Ivan Sproule, who knocked it away from Coleman, then fired it into the empty net.
Linfield were unable to get that second goal they needed, with both Waterworth and Burns hitting the side netting.
With only one goal in it, it was natural that Dungannon were going to feel a point was there for the taking, with Linfield having some nervy moments in the final minutes.
At least that’s what it looked like. Remember, I had no glasses, Linfield could have been totally outplaying Dungannon for all I know.
In other results, Cliftonville and Coleraine drew, while Crusaders won, meaning that Linfield and Crusaders (level on points) are pulling away from Cliftonville and Coelraine, five and six points clear respectively.
Such is the topsy turvy nature of this season’s title race, Linfield actually dropped a place on goal difference due to Crusaders beating Portadown 3-1.
You’ll never guess what, Linfield play Crusaders and Cliftonville in their next two games, both at Windsor Park.
What a massive prize on offer, knowing that if they win their next two games, they’ll be top of the league and at least eight points clear of Cliftonville.
We all know league titles aren’t won or lost in November, but if Linfield can get six points from the next two games, it would be a massive statement of intent.