PHOTO DIARY OF A FOOTBALL SEASON : JULY

After a two month break, my football watching for 2014-2015 began in early July, with the World Cup still going on (on the night of the first two Quarter-Finals) in Bray.

I was over there for a concert, and decided to take in a game as there was one on while I was there, a bottom of the table clash between Bray Wanderers and Drogheda United.

Carlisle Ground is a nice stadium for watching football in when it’s sunny. Unfortunately, when I was there, it was raining. A lot.

It was still an enjoyable game, with Drogheda winning 3-1.

On the night of the now infamous World Cup Semi-Final between Brazil and Germany, I was at Mourneview Park for the UEFA Cup tie between Linfield and B36 Torshavn, my first experience of seeing a Warren Feeney managed Linfield team in the flesh.

The following week, I was back at Mourneview Park again, for the next round against AIK, to see Linfield secure a fantastic 1-0 win. Unfortunately, a 2-0 defeat meant Linfield’s European hopes were over for another year.

Two days later, I was Bangor bound, as Linfield used Clandeboye Park for a friendly against Cowdenbeath.

My main reason for going was to check out the facilities at Clandeboye, which had recently had some renovation work and a new 3G pitch.

That was my football watching for July, the league season not long away from starting. It was great to be back watching football.

Bray Wanderers v Drogheda United

Bray Wanderers v Drogheda United Photo Album

Linfield v B36 Torshavn

Linfield v AIK

Linfield v Cowdenbeath

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2014 IN PICTURES – JULY

July began for me with a trip to Dublin, then Bray, primarily for a concert headlined by James and Paloma Faith, a bit of football to see Bray Wanderers, and some Dublin Street Art.

The following week, Linfield’s season was back up and running with the second leg of the UEFA Cup tie against B36 Torshavn at Mourneview Park, my first time seeing Warren Feeney’s Linfield in the flesh.

A 1-1 draw was enough to giver Linfield a tie in the next round against AIK, again at Mourneview Park, where and Andrew Waterworth goal secured a 1-0 win. Unfortunately, a 2-0 defeat in the away leg eliminated Linfield.

Two days later, it was back on the football wagon for Linfield’s friendly against Cowdenbeath. The only reason I went was to see Clandeboye Park, after having had some work done.

The month ended with another Wonder Villains gig, an instore at HMV.

Bray Wanderers v Drogheda United

Bray Wanderers v Drogheda United Photo Album

James – Live At Killruddery

James – Live At Killruddery Photo Album

Paloma Faith – Live At Killruddery

Paloma Faith – Live At Killruddery Photo Album

Dublin Street Art

Dublin Street Art Photo Album

Linfield v B36 Torshavn

Linfield v AIK

Linfield v Cowdenbeath

Wonder Villains Live At The Loft Photo Album

LINFIELD 1-1 B36 TORSHAVN 8.7.2014

Before Tuesday night, the last Linfield match I was at was at Mourneview Park. It was perhaps symbolic or symmetrical that my next should be at the same venue. In the nine weeks that have passed, people have left Linfield, and people have joined Linfield.

The most obvious, is in the dugout, with Warren Feeney as new manager, replacing David Jeffrey, who was in attendance on Tuesday as a supporter. Since you ask, the last Linfield match I attended where David Jeffrey wasn’t manager? A 0-0 draw v Glentoran on December 26th 1996.

Change on the pitch, in the dugout, and change at or of the club, Linfield playing home European ties (Until September, when we’re in the group stage, of course) at Mourneview Park, due to redevelopment of Windsor Park.

It’s two months and one day until an actual home ground there, against Warrenpoint on September 13th. Looking forward to that one, just to actually see in person the changes at the ground.

If you had to choose an alternative home ground, Mourneview Park wouldn’t be a bad choice. Not only is it the perfect size and modern stands, Linfield have an excellent record there. Though, the last time they played a European tie (v Randers in 2009, due to Windsor Park’s pitch being relayed) it resulted in a 3-0 defeat.

Linfield went into the game with a 2-1 first leg lead against familiar opponents, having beaten B36 in a penalty shoot-out in the European Cup in 2012. Linfield supporters were expecting this tie to be advanced without the need for a penalty shoot-out.

For me, and a few others I guess, this was my first viewing of Warren Feeney’s Linfield in the flesh.

B36 started the game with a few shots on goal, but shots you would expect Jonathan Tuffey (despite his wobbly moments last season, and even last week) to save.

Linfield then started to play some nice passes. There was some long passes, but the had a purpose. Players being proactive and running onto flicks, or running past defenders. Attackers were even prepared to run at defenders.

Linfield seemed to be able to get round the back, but not getting the bounce. You got the feeling if there was an early goal, it could end up 3 or 4-0.

The early goal came just after the quarter hour. A cross came in which looked to be overhit. It was great play by Aaron Burns to seize the opportunity to keep the move alive to get his foot onto it and play it across goal for Michael Carvill to score, who appears to be a penalty box poacher these days.

For the rest of the first-half, Linfield looked the most likely to score, without creating clear cut opportunities. 1-0 at half-time, things are going well so far.

In football, things can change in an instant, and B36 got a penalty in the opening minutes of the second-half, which they scored. Suddenly, it’s now a different game.

For a while after the goal, Linfield appeared nervous, but B36 never really looked like scoring. Despite that, you can never be too careful when there’s only one goal in it.

Eventually, Linfield regained their composure and got back into the game, but just couldn’t get that 2nd goal that would have made the final minutes a lot less nervous.

There were plenty of positives, there were plenty of negatives. One big positive was Peter Thompson off the bench. Hopefully, he can stay fully fit throughout the season. As the cliche goes, it would be like a new signing.

The final whistle went, and Linfield were through, to face AIK Solna next Thursday. A Massively improved performance will be needed against the Swedes to have a chance of keeping the tie alive before the trip to Stockholm.

Photo Album

Linfield v B36 – 2012