MAGAZINE ARCHIVE : MELODY MAKER – 8.12.1999

Liam Gallagher is the cover star of this edition of Melody Maker, as Oasis face what is described as a “Do or die” period for their career in America.

Noel Gallagher is fuming with his brother Liam for going on a “lost weekend” with Huey from Fun Lovin Criminals.

Mark Williams of The Fast Show is interviewed ahead of the release of Fast Football, a spin-off video starring Ron Manager, revealing himself to be a season ticket holder at Brighton.

There is also an interview with Charlotte Hatherley of Ash, taking up three pages.

Discussing their obsessions this week was Roddy Woomble from Idlewild.

Oasis are on tour in America, showcasing their new line-up in Philadelphia.

In posters, you could get one of Rick Witter dressed up as John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever.

Stereophonics gig in Glasgow gets reviewed, only getting one and a half stars out of five.

Nine Inch Nails gig in London got four and a half stars out of five.

Fun Lovin Criminals give their single of the week award to Baby It’s Cold Outside by Tom Jones and Cherys Matthews.

Shirley Manson of Garbage is the subject of a Q and A, revealing that she has a fear of exams.

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THE THREE JIMMYS AND CARL COX

Some more artwork from Glen Molloy which recently appeared in Belfast to bring you.

The first is from an alleyway along the side of Duke Of York, just at the corner before you turn left to go to Premier Inn, walking from Hill Street, where you can see his recent Hill Street Wall Of Fame mural.

It is of Jimmy Cricket. Wait, there’s more (Sorry. Not sorry). There are murals of Jimmy Nesbitt (who had a couple of repaints) and Jimmy Young beside it, complimented with an image of a flower beside it.

If it is a theme of famous Jimmys, Jimmy Callacher is an obvious omission.

There was a delay in getting the piece finished as Molloy was busy working on other projects in Dublin and Magherafelt while working on this as well.

Meanwhile, beside Thompson’s, Molloy has replaced his own mural of Ice Cube with one of Carl Cox.

The delay in getting the pictures of The Three Jimmys meant this blog would be posted after Carl Cox did a gig at Custom House Square, allowing me to get my hopes up that the man himself would post a picture on his social media feed of him at the mural.

Sadly, I was to be disappointed in that regard.

Carl Cox Mural Photo Album

The Three Jimmys Mural Photo Album

LINFIELD 1-0 BALLYMENA UNITED 26.8.2017

Just as they did when they kicked-off their last game at Windsor Park, Linfield kicked off against Ballymena United playing catch-up after Friday night results.

Two weeks ago against Carrick, they knew they had to win by a specific margin to go top. Against Ballymena, any win would do thanks to Glenavon’s draw against Glentoran.

In the space of a week, Five clubs at the top with perfect records was now just two, Coleraine and Linfield, with Coleraine already successfully navigated matchday four.

This season, nobody has stayed at the top of the league for long.

Crusaders went top after their first match before being replaced by Cliftonville, before Crusaders went top again three days later, only to replaced by Glenavon four days later, who only lasted six days before being replaced by Coleraine.

Even if Linfield did go top, that would only last seven days due to them not being in League action next week.

Both teams had contrasting starts to the season. Linfield had three wins out of three and three clean sheets while Ballymena had only one point from three games and eleven goals conceded.

Those stats suggested a routine home win. Reality would suggest otherwise.

The early stages of the game saw Linfield having a lot of the ball. A lot. There were some Linfield players who had touched the ball more times than Ballymena’s entire team.

Despite that, Linfield couldn’t make the most of it.

Whilst the score was 0-0, we were treated to the trademark Ballymena tactics of timewasting and cynical foulind, Jim Ervin and Kyle Owen being the worst offenders.

Everytime a Linfield attack came to an end, Ballymena’s keeper was out berating his defence. Except, it was all for show, anything to kill a bit of time. The referee fell for it on every occasion.

Paul Smyth, the centre of a lot of attention today on and off the pitch fired a low cross which evaded everybody, while a run and shot was saved by Conor Brennan in Ballymena’s goal.

There would be more emphasis put on Smyth when Jordan Stewart went off injured and was replaced by Aaron Burns.

Ballymena made a rare venture into Linfield’s defensive third when a Joe McKinney shot was saved by Roy Carroll.

Aaron Burns was unable to get a touch to divert a wide shot from Robert Garrett into the net, before shooting from a wide angle when a cross was the better option.

Linfield’s last chance of the half came when Mark Stafford fired over from a “Tottenham Corner”.

0-0 at half-time was the first time Linfield had failed to score a first-half goal in the League this season. Even more amazingly, it maintained Ballymena’s record of not conceding a first-half goal in the League this season.

As the half-time whistle blew, the tannoy blasted out Alternative Ulster by Stiff Little Fingers for those going to the concert at Custom House Square (there was someone sat near me who had an SLF badge on their coat) after the game.

We were all agreed that we wanted and Alternative Linfield in the second-half.

Ballymena had the first attack of the second-half when Roy Carroll was forced into a save from a Kyle Owens shot, before Linfield began to take control of the game.

Mark Haughey had a goalward header cleared. It looked like it was going wide to me, but the Ballymena defender couldn’t take the risk.

Ballymena will have been glad that Jimmy Callacher wasn’t playing, having scored in three of the five meetings last season, but Mark Stafford had scored in Ballymena’s last three visits to Windsor Park, and he was eager to make it four out of four.

Paul Smyth had a long range effort tipped over, before his gentle through pass set through Andrew Mitchell, who was fouled just as he set himself up to shoot. Penalty to Linfield.

Having scored at Dungannon last week, Mitchell made no mistake again to give Linfield the lead.

The only person in Windsor Park probably not celebrating was Cameron Stewart, who was getting readied to come on, only to be sent back to the dugout when the penalty was awarded and then scored.

You always had the feeling that Ballymena were so content on stopping Linfield, they would know how to react if Linfield got the lead and Ballymena had to take the intitiative and get a goal.

How Ballymena reacted was to lose their heads, with Andrew Burns being sent-off for a two footed lunge.

Despite 1-0 being a fragile lead, there was never any danger of Linfield not holding on.

That said, 4-5-1/4-3-3 doesn’t really work for Linfield, even allowing for Andrew Waterworth being injured restricting striking options.

Unfortunately, we’ll probably have to put up with it until there is a bad result or an injury crisis, like in November last season.

While this game was 0-0, the game was crying out for Cameron Stewart’s introduction in place of one of the three centre midfielders.

Having set up the penalty that won the game, it was perhaps apt that the final touch of the game was from Paul Smyth, holding on to the ball and securing the win for Linfield, as he looks set to sign for QPR on Monday. Good luck to him. Hopefully he’ll be back at Windsor Park soon in a Northern Ireland shirt.

To be honest, the word “Hopefully” wasn’t really needed in that sentence.

An immediate loan back would be great, as would a friendly at Loftus Road. I can dream.

With the game in the balance, he couldn’t be subbed for an ovation, he just got it at the final whistle instead.

He will be a loss but there are players who can come in and make the most of the opportunity presented to them, such as getting Ross Clarke back to full fitness and on form.

In anticipation of Smyth’s departure, Linfield have signed Louis Rooney from Plymouth. I know absolutely nothing about him, so, um ………

This week saw the confirmation that Spartans will face Linfield in the Irn-Bru Cup. The issue between them and Albion Rovers should have been resolved before the draw took place.

For future reference, perhaps the 1st Round of the competition should take place a week or two weeks earlier in order to allow supporters of the teams who have to travel to and from Scotland a chance to make arrangements.

Thankfully, Linfield are running a bus to the game for fans. Edinburgh? More like Edinblue.

Before Spartans, is the League Cup tie against Distillery, which will hopefully be used to allow the likes of Robinson, both Clarkes, Deane, C Stewart and Glendenning a chance to get some gametime ahead of a busy month.

With Coleraine facing Glenavon next Saturday, that guarantees Linfield will be knocked off the top of the table while they are Edinburgh.

Up next in the League is Glentoran on September 9th and our annual stupid home draw against them.

Might as well get it out of the way early on.

Photo Album

OCEAN COLOUR SCENE – LIVE AT CUSTOM HOUSE SQUARE 25.8.2017 (CHSQ)

Bit of a late purchase this, as I waited until Linfield definitely weren’t playing on the Friday night of the Bank Holiday Weekend before purchasing my ticket, as Ocean Colour Scene rolled into Belfast to perform as part of CHSQ.

Custom House Square isn’t a new venue for Ocean Colour Scene, having performed a free concert there in 2007 (and a few minutes in 2008) as part of Belfast City Council’s celebrations when 2007 turned into 2008.

For me, it was my forth OCS gig, with Mandela Hall in 2010 and The Limelight in 2016 being added to that Custom House Square concert.

There was confusion as to when the band were due to appear, with the organisers saying 9pm, but the band’s Facebook site saying 9.15pm.

Considering that those who were waiting for the band were drenched due to the inclement weather, it would have been nice if they came on at 9pm.

The band are still touring the 20th anniversary of Moseley Shoals, released in 1996.

I’m not a fan of anniversary tours. Just play the hits for crying out loud.

Anyway, this year is the 20th anniversary of the far superior Marchin Already.

Support came from Carl Barat and The Jackals, a side project of Carl Barat from The Libertines. Apart from two songs (Don’t Look Back Into The Sun, Gunja Din), i’m not that arsed about The Libertines, so wasn’t grieving the fact I missed him.

The main support came from The Coral, back after a haitus, best remembered for mid 00s such as Pass It On, In The Morning and Thinking Of You, all well received by the crowd who danced along with complete disregard for how wet they were.

As well as having to wear my coat hood over for most of the gig due to the rain, I also spent most of the gig having to cover my nose due to the sheer number of smelly tramps in attendance.

I go forwards, I go backwards, I go left, I go right. No matter where I went, I was getting cigarette and vape smoke blown in my face. It was a plague. A fucking plague of smelly tramps. That is the only word to describe it.

Seriously Belfast, sort this fucking shit out. It’s not cool.

Having missed their gig at The Limelight last December due to a back injury, Oscar Harrison was back on drums.

That gig in December 2016 wasn’t the first time he had missed an OCS engagement in Belfast.

In October 2001, I met Steve and Damon when they went to the bar I worked in after appearing on The John Daly Show. Alan White from Oasis was filling in on drums and I met him too.

I just thought i’d drop that story in about the time I met half of Ocean Colour Scene and a member of Oasis.

One advantage, or disadvantage, or a band playing an album in full is that you know the order of the setlist when you arrive.

Track 1, The Riverboat Song, with it’s distinctive guitar riff kicked off the show. In a normal show, it would have been saved for the encore.

During the early stages of the show, Simon seemed to be channeling Freddie Mercury, trying to be a showman, even engaging in dad dancing, quite appropriate for the singer of a band derided as “Dad Rock” by their haters.

I’m as shocked as you that there are people who hate Ocean Colour Scene.

He even forgot the words a few times but nobody minded. He was even laughing about it with the crowd.

Even though it was just under nine months since their last visit to Belfast, Simon Fowler told the crowd the band were “Too long away from Belfast”, referring to a near seven year gap between Belfast gigs before that.

After all the songs from Moseley Shoals were completed, we were then treated to non Moseley Shoals hits such as Better Day, Traveller’s Tune, Hundred Mile high City and Profit In Peace.

For the encore, Simon appeared on his own with an acoustic guitar before telling the crowd to “Welcome Carl to the stage”.

I know what you’re thinking, and no, it wasn’t Carl Frampton.

It was Carl Barat, who walked on to stage and flicked a lit cigarette in the direction of the crowd, narrowly missing a Security Guard who was stood with his back to the stage and unaware to move for his own safety. What a dick.

Imagine being in a band with a Professional Junkie who thinks he’s a poet and still being the biggest dick in the band.

They performed a duet of Robin Hood, which then morphed into a cover of Live Forever by Oasis, with Simon declaring “I loved Oasis” before the band finished with a cover of Daytriper by The Beatles, and The Day We Caught The Train.

Photo Album

Ocean Colour Scene live at The Limelight December 2016

Ocean Colour Scene live at Mandela Hall 2010

Ocean Colour Scene live at Custom House Square Photo Album

BLOSSOMS – LIVE AT CUSTOM HOUSE SQUARE 22.8.2017 (AND KASABIAN, NOT LIVE AT CUSTOM HOUSE SQUARE 22.8.2017)

“We’ll be back soon” said Blossoms singer Tom Ogden at the end of their concert at The Limelight in March. He was true to his word, with the band returning five and a half months later to support Kasabian at Custom House Square.

It was a nice treat, to have two bands on the bill I want to see, rather than viewing the support act as a way of filling time before the headliner.

Kasabian are one of many high profile acts who have had Blossoms supporting them in recent years – Paul Weller, The Courteeners, The Charlatans and The Kooks have all had them as support. I saw them support Paul Weller at Waterfront Hall in 2015.

Next month, will be their biggest support slot to date, when they support Noel Gallagher at his concert to reopen Manchester Arena.

To dismiss them as a support act is harsh. These boys have tunes.

Restricted to a 45 minute set, they had to play the hits. Considering they’ve only released one album, they’ve already had quite a few hits, such as Blown Rose, Getaway, At Most A Kiss and Honey Sweet, all getting the approval of a crowd who were getting drenched while the set was ongoing. We even got an instrumental version of Gimme Gimme Gimme, just like at The Limelight in March.

Just like at The Limelight in March, the band asked for a member of the audience who had been just dumped to dedicate My Favourite Room to.

At The Limelight, it was Orla (apologies if that’s not the spelling she uses) who had been dumped by Ryan. I don’t know if she was there on Tuesday.

The lucky winner, if you will, was Emma, who had just been dumped by Jack. Jack was booed by the crowd. If you’re reading this Jack, you’re a bastard.

My Favourite Room also included singalongs of Half The World Away By Oasis and Last Christmas by Wham!

I say singalongs, it was Tom singing the first line of a verse, and the crowd doing the rest.

If drunks can sing Fairytale Of New York on St Patrick’s Day, then it’s more than acceptable for people to sing Last Christmas in August.

As the band neared the end of their set, finishing on Charlemagne (voted the best song of 2015 by this blog), Tom Ogden asked the crowd if they were excited for Kasabian, before giving a shout out to Touts.

Touts were the band who were on before Blossoms, and supported them at The Limelight in March and at Castlefield Bowl in July. They’ll be supporting Paul Weller at Ulster Hall early next year.

If you saw them, you probably thought they were called Tights, due to their Peeeyuuurrrre Deee-errry (Or Peeeyyyurrree Leeonndonddeee-errrrry, if you prefer) accents.

I didn’t catch any of their performance and wasn’t really fussed about that, to be honest.

It can’t be unsaid about the sheer number of smelly tramps at this gig. Seriously, it was embarrassing, trying to find somewhere without having cigarette or vape smoke being blown into my face.

We are the majority, yet our nights out are dictated by smelly tramps who haven’t even the basic decency to consider those around them and go a few hours without.

I’m fed up about outdoor events being ruined by these tramps, having to walk through the City Centre holding my nose on my lunchbreak, and don’t even start me on how useless Eventsec are at stopping this at international football matches.

It might seem drastic, but surely it’s worth putting anti-smoking clauses into the granting of licences.

Some smelly tramps might get their feelings hurt by this, Fuck em. It’s not my problem, and my enjoyment of events shouldn’t be dictated by them. I give more of a fuck about my lungs than I do about their feelings.

If there must be a compromise, built a hut for them and let them do their trampy wee habit away from everybody else.

I know I write about this a lot, but I will continue to do so until either authorities tackle it or there are societal changes in Belfast.

No amount of glossy Game Of Thrones themed advertising can disguise the fact that Belfast is a smelly smoke riddled shithole. It doesn’t have to be.

At about 8.45pm, I had managed to get a decent view, the rain had stopped, and I was in an area which had the least amount of smelly tramps surrounding me. I was all set for Kasabian.

Kasabian are no strangers to Belfast in August, with this gig falling on the tenth anniversary of them supporting The Killers at Tennent’s Vital, and just over seven years (by five days) since they headlined Belsonic at the same venue.

However, 2017 would not be joining 2007 and 2010 as Kasabian visits to Belfast.

An announcement came over the speaker “THIS IS A PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT …”

Nobody really paid attention. They just thought it was an automated health and safety announcment.

I have been to several Belsonic concerts in the past and never heard a health and safety announcment. It immediately struck me as odd, but nothing to get worried about.,

The announcement continued “….. DUE TO A LAST MINUTE …..”

I immediately thought to myself “Oh fuck”, I knew what was coming.

It continued “… ILLNESS, TONIGHT’S SHOW HAS BEEN CANCELLED. THERE WILL BE NO PERFORMANCE”.

The venue went silent and everyone was in disbelief. The announcement was repeated, and people began to take in what was being said.

The title of their current album For Crying Out Loud was quite apt.

The second time was met with boos, and booze, as some people chucked beer at the stage in disgust.

It clearly was a late announcement with Blossoms being unaware when their singer was under the impression Kasabian were performing as they were on stage.

Last year, The Kooks cancelled their gig at Feile on the day, so the organisers bumped The Coronas (who were supporting) into a headline slot and offered anyone who wanted to see The Kooks a refund.

Clearly, the cancellation was too late for a similar arrangement to take place here.

It was stated that a new dated would be announced. There’s not much room for maneuver from band and promoters or a Custom House Square gig in the immediate future.

It was expected that they would go on a Winter tour, the announcement will have been embargoed until their summer festival appearances had been completed.

That turned out to be the case.

There’s no Belfast gig. There was never going to be a Belfast gig on that tour, as we would have already had one this year.

There is a Dublin gig, and free days either side of it. Block out your diary for an Odyssey gig would be my hunch.

Anyone who had a ticket for Custom House Square will be compensated with admission to The Odyssey.

That’s just a hunch, I have no inside information.

That’s the second concert in a few days i’ve left early. One because I only wanted to see the support act, and the other because the headliners cancelled. It’s not a habit I want to get into.

You have to be philosophical, i’ll either get my money back or i’ll get to see Kasabian at a later date.

Let’s be honest, Kasabian will be playing a gig in Belfast in 2037 to promote Greatest Hits III, it’s not like they’ll never come to Belfast again.

As it turned out, there was a tunderstorm during when the band would have been performing their encore. That would have been, um, fun.

If you do want to read a Kasabian review, here’s their 2014 Odyssey concert.

Blossoms Live At Custom House Square Photo Album

THE FRIDAY FIVE – 25.8.2017

1. Rick Astley ft Foo Fighters – Never Gonna Give You Up
2. Bastille – Basketcase
3. Liam Gallagher – For What It’s Worth
4. Alex Cameron – Candy May
5. Rews – Shine

Still looking for a Ryan Adams ticket. Ulster Hall, Standing, Face Value. Do get in touch.

MAGAZINE ARCHIVE : MATCH – 9.11.1985

MEXICO HERE WE COME!! screams the headline on the cover of Match, as Northern Ireland head to Wembley looking for the result that will take them to the 1986 World Cup Finals.

The match gets a double page spread as soon as you open the magazine, featuring interviews with David McCreery and Glenn Hoddle. McCreery is in bullish mood, saying Northern Ireland will win on merit and not need any favours from England.

Gary Lineker uses his column to reveal that Frank Worthington was his footballing hero.

Match follows the progress of a young player they’ve adopted, Lee Martin of Huddersfield Town, as he gets ready to face Liverpool in the FA Youth Cup.

This player in question was a goalkeeper, and not to be confused with the Lee Martin who scored the winner in the 1990 FA Cup Final Replay.

There are posters of Northern Ireland and Aberdeen. Aberdeen had just beaten Hibs 3-0 in the Scottish League Cup Final.

Staying in Scotland, there could be a TV blackout of Scottish football due to a lack of agreement with broadcasters STV and BBC Scotland.

Match does a feature called Stars In The Shade, profiling players watching England’s top flight from the sidelines such as Alan Brazil, Michael Robinson and Gary Mabbutt.

David Speedie gets asked about his favourite things, his favourite music being Spandau Ballet, Sade and Barbara Dickson.

Match uses the ratings in their results service to do a feature on the best goalkeepers in England’s top flight, with Ray Clemence coming out on top with an average rating of 7.53 from 13 games.

Ray Wilkins, based in Italy with AC Milan, uses his column to declare that Michael Laudrup will be one of the stars of the 1986 World Cup.

AMY MacDONALD – LIVE AT CUSTOM HOUSE SQUARE 19.8.2017 (CHSQ)

It had been a while since Amy MacDonald’s last concert in Belfast, nine years ago in 2008, something she addressed to the crowd, apologising for taking so long for coming back, which she said was “Too long” a gap.

She had announced a tour this year, there was hope of a Belfast gig, but it was not to be. There was a Dublin gig, but no Belfast gig. We do get annoyed when people play Dublin but not Belfast. There was hope, that she was being lined-up for a festival instead.

That proved to be the case, when she was announced to be supporting Foy Vance at Custom House Square in August.

August gave us hope that we would get to see Amy in the sunshine. We didn’t quite get sunshine, but we did get daylight and a dry sky. The weather was the first thing she commented on, saying it was great to see a blue sky, and a dramatic improvement on the weather she was soundchecking in.

I’ve been a long time fan of Amy, going back to her debut album in 2007. I remember a friend of mine didn’t like her. No reason given, just simply “I don’t like her”.

Ten years on, she considers herself a veteran at the age of 29. She won’t be 29 for much longer, she turns 30 next Friday, which she acknowledged during the show, stating that things have change since she first started gigging in 2005, that she now considers a cup of tea between songs as her version of rock n roll excess.

She stated that this was the most polite crowd she had played to, having believed that Belfast and her hometown of Glasgow to be very similar, but that if this gig was in Glasgow, there would be police horses and riots everywhere. A small section of the crowd booed at the suggestion.

Most of us were just toetapping and singing along.

When you tour so much, it is easy to forget where you are, with Amy commented that she almost replied “Danke schon” after getting applause from the crowd, having spent so much time in Germany this summer. She is so famous in Germany, that Joachim Low is a fan.

The set, around 45 minutes, was mostly stripped back, and featured hits such as Dream On, This Is The Life and Mr Rock N Roll.

I would have loved to have seen her perform Don’t Tell Me That It’s Over.

As mentioned earlier, she was supporting Foy Vance. Anywhere else, she would have been the headliner, but it was a “Home” gig for Vance, so she had to make do with second billing.

I’m not that really into Foy Vance, so I left after her set, I was only there for Amy and had a decent time of dry weather and a bit of toetapping. I even enjoyed the novelty of finding a smoke free area in the venue (just by sheer chance of being stood beside people who aren’t smelly tramps, rather than a designated area). An exception rather than the norm for outdoor concerts in Belfast sadly.

This concert was part of a new festival called CHSQ, which as abbreviation enthusiasts will tell you, means Switzerland Squared. What an odd name for a festival.

Although, I think it’s just trendy text speak for Custom House Square.

Having enjoyed a bit of late summer singing along and toetapping, it would be nice if we could do it again in Winter. She’s got an acoustic tour scheduled for November, so hopefully, she’ll be able to fit in a quick return to Belfast with her own headlining show.

Fingers crossed.

Photo Album

DUNGANNON SWIFTS 0-4 LINFIELD 19.8.2017

The weather might have been inconsistent and unpredictable, but Linfield weren’t, as they strolled to victory in the sun, rain and everything inbetween in Tyrone.

It was Linfield’s third successive win of the season, third clean sheet, and to keep on a trilogical theme, results elsewhere meant that the five clubs with perfect starts at kick-off were now a top three, with Linfield sandwiched inbetween Glenavon and Coleraine, all on nine points.

For the early part of the game, the ball was in midfield a lot, neither side creating a noteworthy effort. Linfield’s best effort came from a speculative long range effort from Jordan Stewart.

Linfield weren’t helping themselves with numerous stray passes.

That was until Linfield’s first real attack of note was started and finished by Paul Smyth, who headed home after Dungannon keeper Stuart Addis missed a cross.

Within minutes, Dungannon had a clear shot on goal saved by Roy Carroll, a reminder that the game was far from won.

It took a free-kick for Linfield to get their second when a tee-up saw Niall Quinn fire a spectacular effort into the top of the net. It was a goal that deserved Alan Partridge commentary, it was that good. For Quinn, it was a case of Play Your Cards Right, and didn’t he do well.

The final minutes of the half saw Linfield get a third when a corner was headed in. From where I was, it looked like Mark Haughey who scored, but video replays showed that it was headed into his own net by Seanan Clucas.

For the third successive match, the three points were secured by half-time. People should only be charged Β£6.50 into Linfield matches at this rate. I guess those who set admission prices would disagree and say that The Price Is Right.

I was hoping Linfield would rack up a lot of goals in the second-half, mainly due to the awful Now That’s What I Call Shit Dance Music 1999 CD that Dungannon were playing on the PA System.

Unsurprisingly, the second-half was a non event, with Linfield utilising their subs bench and allowing Aaron Burns, Stephen Lowry and Matthew Clarke to get some game time.

In the final minutes of the game, Linfield got a penalty for a push on Mark Stafford. Linfield fans celebrated the award, until they realised it would probably be missed.

At 3-0 up against a Dungannon side coming to terms with the loss of Andrew Mitchell to Glenavon, it was perhaps a bit cruel of Linfield to get their own Andrew Mitchell to take the penalty.

He stepped up, and Addis got a hand on it. Before the crowd could utter “Oh for crying out loud …” at another miss, the ball hit the back of the net and it was 4-0.

An even bigger relief was to finish the game with 11, due to the card happy nature of the refereeing for both sides.

Goals are coming throughout the team for Linfield, which is handy considering Andrew Waterworth’s absence through injury. It will be great to get him back fit, but it’s just as great that others are stepping up to the mark in terms of goalscoring.

Elsewhere, Glentoran couldn’t make the most of a generous run of games with a 1-1 draw at home to Carrick. They’re so bad these days, they can’t even give their fans false hope.

Also drawing 1-1 were Cliftonville at Ballinamallard, and they are now five points behind Linfield. I never viewed them as title challengers despite the return of Joe Gormley (Remember, he scored 40+ goals in his last season at the club, and they finished 5th)

They’ve become a team who draw at Ballinamallard. Teams in the bottom six view them as a team they can get points against. It’s something that is hard to shake off. Yesterday’s results will only give those sides confidence when facing them.

Crusaders lost 2-1 at home to Coleraine. For once Crusaders got a last minute goal, and it didn’t matter. It was perhaps apt that it was a player called Forsythe who scored.

Meanwhile, Glenavon won 6-1 at Ballymena. Not going to lie, Ballymena’s poor start is making me nervous ahead of their visit to Windsor Park next Saturday.

That means Glenavon, Linfield and Coleraine are the top three, with three wins out of three. Though Linfield might be second, they cut the gap in goal difference to the top of the League from four goals to three goals.

After the Ballymena game, Linfield won’t have a League match until September 9th. That means if we can win on Saturday, the worst that will happen while we are inactive (in League terms) on 2nd September is that we would be three points off the top with a game in hand.

Next Saturday also sees Cliftonville play Crusaders, meaning they can pull further clear of one or both of them.

That inactivity is due to the trip to Crusaders on 6th September being postponed due to international call-ups. There’s positives and negatives to this.

September will be a busy month and this will ease the fixture congestion.

However, when you see Matchday 3 results and the fact Crusaders will be coming off the back of a North Belfast Derby, they would be there for the taking.

No point moaning about it. It is what it is, might as well get on with it.

Linfield won’t be playing in the League on 2nd September because they are scheduled to be playing in the Scottish Challenge Cup, the draw taking place last week.

The draw was convenient in terms that it gave Linfield an away tie in the Central Belt, but inconvenient in the fact that we don’t know who we are playing.

Linfield were drawn away to Albion Rovers or Spartans. Albion beat Spartans but are being investigated for fielding an ineligible player.

After spending years writing about wanting to go to Ainslie Park, I could be going there twice in the space of a month, having seen Edinburgh City play there two weeks ago.

It would be a nice novelty to be in Edinburgh and not to have flyers shoved in my face.

It would be hilarious if Albion were thrown out, seeing as Crusaders had to replay Livingson last season after Livingston fielded in ineligible player.

It doesn’t really leave much time for this resolved, with the next round scheduled for two weeks time.

My hunch is that Albion and Spartans will replay on 2nd September, and Linfield’s tie being played between then and the next round date on 8th October.

I think Linfield’s tie will be two to three weeks after to give Linfield a chance to make arrangements and supporters to do likewise.

Linfield have home games scheduled on 9th (Glentoran) and 16th (Ballinamallard) and I wouldn’t be surprised if it was played on one of those weekends, with the League game postponed, possibly the 16th.

That’s just a hunch, I have no inside info. This is Scottish football we are talking about, so anything could happen.

If that is the case, we will be two games behind schedule, making it important to keep picking up wins.

As supporters exited Stangmore Park, the music improved, with Don’t Look Back In Anger by Oasis coming on the stereo.

Linfield fans won’t be looking back on this game in anger, just as a job done.

Photo Album

THE FRIDAY FIVE – 18.8.2017

1. Liam Gallagher – For What It’s Worth
2. The Killers – Run For Cover
3. Amy MacDonald – Dream On
4. Stereophonics – All In One Night
5. Blossoms – Charlemagne

Ryan Adams Update – Still looking for a ticket. Ulster Hall, Standing, Face Value, get in touch.