Another win, and finally some progress, as Linfield moved up to the dizzy heights of 3rd.

Larne’s win at Glenavon on Friday night meant that the three points were needed simply to keep in touch, it would turn out that defeats for Glentoran and Cliftonville would mean it was about that and overtaking others.

Linfield’s starting eleven saw a return for two absentees, with Joel Cooper back from injury and Eetu Vertainen from suspension.

With both teams ready to start the game, the Referee signalled for a change of ends.

Fuck sake. As someone who likes to sit where Linfield attack, that mean a fast walk to the other end of the South Stand which is a bit of a task as I am full of chocolate.

You know the drill when this happens, no goals in the first minute.

This was an arrangement that Linfield kept to, but only just.

As I had just taken my seat, I was up out of it straight away as Eetu Vertainen got on the end of a Matthew Clarke cross with just ninety seconds on the clock.

A welcome development in a game like this. As Linfield found out in August, you don’t give a team like Carrick something to defend.

Despite the setback, Carrick didn’t capitulate and had a few attacks of their own in search of an equaliser.

A few of those attacks came from fouls on Linfield players clearing the ball not being given.

You know it’s bad when a free-kick for Linfield is universally met with sarcastic applause.

Linfield looked to capitalise on their early lead, and looked set to go 2-0 up as Ethan Devine set himself to head in, but it was saved from closed range at the expense of a corner.

There wasn’t long to wait for that second goal as Jimmy Callacher was allowed to run with the ball, and used the time and space to play in Eetu Vertainen to make it 2-0. One of those where you knew he was going to score as soon as he got the ball.

Robbie McDaid curled a shot wide and Joel Cooper had a goalbound shot blocked, the block taking the sting out of the shot so the ball could be saved at the expense of a corner as Linfield went in search of a third goal.

Despite that, 2-0 was a satisfactory half’s work.

Most of the second-half, the game meandered and became a non event, the League Cup Semi-Final against Glentoran looming large and the object being to get through this without doing anything stupid and save energy for the trip to The Oval.

David Healy took the opportunity to make use of his bench, with Chris McKee, Cameron Palmer and Liam McStravick all coming on.

Suddenly, Carrick Rangers got back into the game when a speculative shot that was going well wide suddenly became a great pass for Ben Tilney, who made no mistake to make it 2-1.

Suddenly, we had a game.

You could hear the collective groans around Windsor Park. This wasn’t supposed to be happening.

There was still ten minutes to go, plenty of time for Carrick to grab an unlikely point.

As the game entered it’s final minutes, there was never any danger of Carrick getting an equaliser, but you can never be too confident when there is only one goal in it.

Especially as Carrick scored from a wayward shot that suddenly became a great pass.

Those of a nervous disposition weren’t helped by there being five minutes of injury time.

Their mood was improved during that injury time when Robbie McDaid was played through and made it 3-1. Points definitely in the bag now.

The best thing about this game? Not cringing at Balloon Unity, or whatever the fuck they are called, making arses of themselves.

I can’t remember the last match I went to where I didn’t cringe at the shite they sing. An embarrassment we can do without. The sooner we get rid of them, the better.

I’m long past the point of tolerating them, or even trying to give them the benefit of the doubt. They’ve proven time and time again that they can’t be trusted to behave themselves.

We’re all going to be punished for their shitty behaviour and I won’t be dragged down by them.

I’m sure they’ll embarrass themselves and every single one of us some time soon. Might as well enjoy this one.

As one of five teams at the top, getting four results in our favour every week is a tough ask, but two will do.

Up to third now, cutting the gap at the top gradually.

Small steps.

That’s the League on hold for a while for Linfield and a good way to send off ahead of two cup games.

The first of those, was an easy 3-0 win at The Oval to go through to the League Cup Final.

I was going to go, but having missed the County Antrim Shield Semi-Final a few weeks back, I was worried about jinxing them so I didn’t go.

You can all thank me for that result.

I’ll definitely be at the Final.

One of two Cup Finals to look forward to in 2023.

Hopefully, six points in the two League games that remain in 2022 will give us a title challenge to look forward to as well.

Photo Album

One thought on “LINFIELD 3-1 CARRICK RANGERS 3.12.2022

  1. Pingback: 2022 IN PICTURES – DECEMBER (SO FAR ….) | Analogue Boy In A Digital World

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s