PHOTO DIARY OF A FOOTBALL SEASON : APRIL/MAY

April 2019 meant the run-in was approaching, and my first football match of the month saw Linfield get a crucial 1-0 win against Ballymena United to virtually secure the Irish League title.

The following week, Linfield got the job done with a 0-0 draw at home to Crusaders.

A week later, Linfield lifted the title, on a day they lost 4-0 at home to Glenavon.

My last Linfield match of the season was a lot better, a 5-1 win over Cliftonville on Easter Tuesday.

That wouldn’t be my last match of the season, as I headed to Old Trafford in mid May to see Manchester United lose at home to Cardiff City. Not the way I wanted the season to end.

Tomorrow, you’ll get your chance to vote for your favourite.

So, that’s 2018-2019 over. Here’s to more football photos in 2019-2020.

Ballymena United v Linfield

Linfield v Crusaders

Linfield Title Win Photo Album

Linfield v Glenavon

Linfield Title Celebrations Photo Album

Linfield v Cliftonville

Manchester United v Cardiff City

Manchester United v Cardiff City Photo Album

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PHOTO DIARY OF A FOOTBALL SEASON : DECEMBER

December’s football watching began with a trip to Ballymena on the first of the month and a top of the table clash, which Linfield lost 2-1.

Thankfully, the rest of the month did get better, including the following Saturday, where Crusaders were disposed of 4-1.

Postponements meant I wouldn’t be at another match for two weeks, as Linfield drew 0-0 with Glenavon, though it was still better than Crhistmas shopping.

The next match was a bit decent, as Linfield thrashed Glentoran 4-0 on Boxing Day.

The month, and the year, of football watching ended with a trip to Solitude to see Linfield secure a 2-0 win.

Ballymena United v Linfield

Linfield v Crusaders

Linfield v Glenavon

Linfield v Glentoran

Cliftonville v Linfield

BALLYMENA UNITED 0-1 LINFIELD 5.4.2019

Almost there, not quite job done. Linfield can still be caught on Goal Difference. Yep, i’m being that guy.

The first game of the split, Linfield’s trip to Ballymena in early April was being earmarked as a potential title decider when the sides were within touching distance of each other.

As the weeks leading up to this game ticked by, the situation suddenly changed with Ballymena’s home defeats to Glentehran and Warrenpoint Town. It was no longer an opportunity for Ballymena to pull level with Linfield, it was now about just keeping in touch with Linfield, and having a small glimmer of hope kept alive.

A draw wouldn’t have been the worst result for Linfield, but to set up like that would have been disastrous. Linfield simply had to go for the win.

If they got it, they would be twelve points clear with four games to go. You do the maths. Goal Difference? That was seventeen in Linfield’s favour, and a win for Linfield would make it at least nineteen in their favour. Yep, that’s boring Linfield who grind out 1-0 wins having a vastly superior Goal Difference to free flowing attacking Ballymena United.

A win for Linfield would as good as seal the title. That was the simplicity of the situation.

Unsurprisingly, Linfield’s starting eleven was unchanged from the win at Dungannon Swifts. Surprisingly though, there was no place on the substitutes bench for Kyle McClean or Michael O’Connor after they both missed the game against Dungannon due to International Duty.

The match kicked-off a couple of minutes late, which worked out handy for me due to being held up at Applegreen by people who are too stupid to order food and insist on paying for everything by Credit Card.

Those opening minutes saw decent build-up play from Linfield with Jordan Stewart getting a lot of joy out wide as both teams struggled on a bobbly pitch, as both sets of players tried to work out how to pass the ball with this uncontrollable variable.

It was Ballymena who had the first chance of the game when Adam Lecky fired over from the penalty spot when pressure from a Linfield. Despite the pressure he was under, he really should have scored. It was a let off for Linfield.

Shortly afterwards, Joel Cooper looked like he was going to put Linfield 1-0 up from close ranger but fired wide under pressure from a Ballymena defender.

Despite not creating anything further of note, Linfield were looking good as an attacking force, with good build-up play.

However, they needed a goal, though i’m not sure that would have been a good idea, after visits to Ballymena in November 2017 and December 2018 saw an early 1-0 lead become a 2-1 defeat.

Midway through the first-half, Ballymena started to gain control of the game, with a flurry of corners, keeping Linfield in their defensive third.

The best opportunities those set pieces brought was an effort smashed against the bar with Jude Winchester’s follow-up being turned behind for a corner when he should have scored.

It looked like Ballymena were going to make the breakthrough when Andy McGrory’s free-kick looked to be going in, only to be denied by a top class one hand save from Gareth Deane.

Linfield were able to ride it out and ended the half with some pressure of their own, Ross Glendenning having to make a save to deny an own goal, while Joel Cooper’s attempted header saw a penalty appeal. I was screaming for it at the time, but TV pictures showed that it wasn’t.

0-0 at half-time, you began to wonder and hope if Ballymena would regret not scoring when they were on top. You had a feeling this was the best they could offer.

Even though Linfield weren’t quite the attacking force they hoped to be, that didn’t mean that Linfield were absent as an attacking force in the first-half.

The main talking point in the final minutes of the first-half was the lack of a yellow card for Andrew McGrory for taking down Jamie Mulgrew as he raced towards Ballymena’s defensive third. I know, I know.

Whatever David Healy said at half-time, it had the desired effect as Linfield went 1-0 up after just 46 seconds of the second-half.

Ballymena only touched the twice between Linfield kicking off the half and scoring, and they were both headed clearances.

Joel Cooper played a through ball to Andrew Waterworth who finished low first time. It was the only thing he could do, but when you get a clean strike, you don’t even have to look. I was at that end, and it was a goal before he even struck the ball.

The game had swung in Linfield’s favour, and they started to take control of the game.

Ballymena suddenly got back into the game, and Gareth Deane had to be forced to come out of his box and make himself big to deny Andy McGrory just as he looked set to level.

Deane might have been busy in the League Cup Final and the League match against Ballymena in February, but you could argue he was making saves he should be expected to make. Not in this game, he made two big saves at key points in the match.

Jimmy Callacher then went on a run which saw him have a shot from outside the box which was turned around for a corner while Andrew Waterworth had a low shot saved as Linfield looked to get the second goal that they needed, even though they were snuffing out Ballymena’s attacking threat.

Callacher then had a header over the bar from a free kick that was awarded for a wild challenge by Jonathan Addis, who was lucky to escape with only a yellow card.

David Healy then turned to his bench. There was nobody who really needed to be taken off, and there was nobody we were desperate to get on, but fresh legs to see the game out would always be welcomed.

Kirk Millar came on for Joel Cooper before Matthew Clarke came on for Jordan Stewart.

Clarke for Stewart wouldn’t be a sub I would make, but bringing Clarke on and pushing Niall Quinn forward has been done before, and it proved effective against Cliftonville in November and then again in December.

As the game approached injury time, Ballymena got a free-kick in the centre circle for a foul by Daniel Kearns which resulted in Jim Ervin embarrassing himself sprinting to get involved and get Kearns sent-off. It was a foul, free-kick, maybe a yellow card, and you just get on with the game.

It was a sign of desperation from Ballymena, a team who had run out of ideas and were trying anything to get something. It was Kearns last involvement in the game as he came off for Stephen Fallon.

Andrew Waterworth saw a spectacular effort go just over the bar but Linfield didn’t need to worry about not getting a second, as they were able to see the game out and win 1-0.

As Linfield players prepared to celebrate a vital win with their fans, Ryan Mayse seemed to take the result badly and had to restrained by Darren Murphy.

It wasn’t going to dampen the celebrations, even though they were a warm-up to the main event (Yes, i’m still being cautious), we even got a Jeffrey-esque fistpump from David Healy.

What it means is that Linfield need one more point from the last four games to secure the title. Three will do next Saturday to do it in style.

Earlier this week, it was announced that the Irish League is in danger of losing a UEFA Cup spot due to it’s co-efficient, so naturally, the League is insisting on giving a place in that competition to lottery winners rather than on merit.

Not that Linfield will have to worry about that, as this result secured European Football and qualification to the Scottish Challenge Cup.

Next season can wait, it’s all about next Saturday, Crusaders at home, the first of three successive home games. And people said that Ballymena were going to have an advantage of home games in the run-in when they have the same amount as Linfield.

Even though we have lost our last two games to Crusaders, they were two games we’ve thrown away. Don’t forget, we’ve beaten them three times in the League already this season.

We’re a better team than Crusaders, we’ve proven it over 34 games, let’s do this in style and get the celebrations started.

Photo Album

 

 

2018 IN PICTURES – DECEMBER (SO FAR ….)

December began with a top of the table clash on the first day, but not the result I wanted as Linfield lost to Ballymena United.

The following Saturday was a lot better, as Linfield thrashed Crusaders 4-1.

No football the following Saturday, meant a gap in photo adventures, before seeing Ash at The Limelight, followed by Linfield’s match against Glenavon.

Of course, there are still two more football matches for me this month, Linfield’s games against Glentoran (26th) and Cliftonville (29th).

Hope you’ve enjopyed my photographic look back at 2018, here’s to more in 2019.

Already booked for 2019 – Chvrches, Razorlight and a short break in Dublin.

Ballymena United v Linfield

Linfield v Crusaders

Ash live at The Limelight

Ash live at The Limelight Photo Album

Linfield v Glenavon

BALLYMENA UNITED 2-1 LINFIELD 1.12.2018

It was supposed to be the second meeting in four days between Ballymena United and Linfield, but the weather on Tuesday meant that it wasn’t. There was never a danger of this match being postponed, but Linfield ended up wishing that it was.

Linfield were the last team to beat Ballymena, in late September. It is doubtful that even the most optimistic Ballymena fan would have predicted the return fixture being a top of the table clash, with Linfield kicking off one point ahead of their hosts.

It was slightly surprising that this game wasn’t regraded as a County Antrim Shield Semi-Final in order to get it wrapped up as soon as possible and stop it dragging on. I’ll be covering fixture scheduling, a favourite topic of mine, later on.

Having played Midweek-Saturday for the last few weeks, I don’t think Ballymena were too unhappy with the postponement, to give them a break going into this game, and Ballymena were sharper in the opening minute when a header fell to Adam Lecky, who fired over from close range when he should have scored.

It was poor defending from Linfield. Firstly, in not winning the header even though it wasn’t going to be an attempt at goal, and then nobody tracking Lecky.

If Linfield weren’t sharp at one end, they were sharp at the other, when Stephen Fallon got to the ball on the byline before crossing for Andrew Waterworth to finish from close range to put Linfield 1-0 up.

The question now, was would Ballymena capitulate. They didn’t, going in search of an equaliser and having a goal disallowed for offside, while Linfield also had a goal disallowed for offside.

The theme of the first-half for Linfield was sloppy passes. Far too many were going astray, giving the ball away, stopping promising attacks. and conceding soft possession. On most occasions, it came when they were under no pressure. It was really basic stuff.

On one occasion where Linfield lost the ball when put under pressure, it set up a Ballymena shot which was turned around for a corner by Roy Carroll.

Stephen Fallon was involved in Linfield’s two main attacks of note in the later moments of the half, stabbing the ball goalwards from a corner, and then narrowly being unable to get his head on a Jimmy Callacher flick on.

As the team’s left the pitch at half-time, Linfield fans will have had a smile on their faces with this scoreline, and with scorelines elsewhere, with Glenavon and Crusaders drawing their respective matches.

Linfield went in search of a second goal they needed at the start of the second-half, and almost got it when a goalmouth scramble saw the ball blocked on the line. In the aftermath of that, there was a kerfuffle which saw Josh Robinson booked.

I have been critical of Robinson this season for getting involved and getting yellow cards where he doesn’t need to be involved, but he did nothing wrong in this incident. He went for a ball that was there to be won. It seems that the reaction of the Ballymena players got him booked. I can’t help but wonder if he has now made himself a marked man amongst referees.

Ballymena got an equaliser when a free-kick was headed home by Johnny Addis, with Roy Carroll coming out and not getting the ball.

It’s easy to ask questions of Carroll, but there were two Ballymena players fighting to win the header unchallenged. If they score a free header and Carroll stays on the line, we’d all be asking just as many questions.

We had enough bodies to defend it, yet there were two Ballymena players unmarked in the box.

Soon after, Ballymena went 2-1 up with a strike from Leroy Millar. It was a repeat of the meeting at Ballymena in November 2017 where an early Linfield goal was cancelled out by a quick Ballymena double in the first fifteen minutes of the second-half.

They had two further chances on the breakaway with Linfield in search of an equaliser, Roy Carroll keeping Linfield in the game twice with superb saves.

Linfield never really looked like making them pay for it, apart from when a header from a corner which went just wide.

Jordan Stewart, surprisingly left on the bench for Robert Garrett, came on for Joel Cooper. That was then followed by a belated Linfield debut for Lorcan Forde, coming on for Kirk Millar.

Despite all the pressure on Ballymena’s goal, the ball just never bounced in Linfield’s favour, as Ballymena held out for the win, and it got better for them when they heard the scores from elsewhere, with Glenavon and Crusaders both drawing.

That makes it worse for Linfield, they could have pulled away from the team’s below them. Even a draw wouldn’t have been a bad result when you combined with the other results.

Crusaders had two players sent-off. I would not be surprised if they appealed them purely to delay the suspensions ahead of the visit to Windsor Park next Saturday. They seemed to be quite affronted that a referee from Latvia should come over hear and not tolerate their thuggery.

It’s a setback, but not a disaster. Two points is retrievable, and there are plenty of games left in which to do it. The gap can’t get any bigger.

Ballymena have a generous run of games coming up, and we’ll need to win to keep up with them.

Up next is a trip to Portadown in the League Cup, potentially, the second of five away games in seventeen days. A fixture pile up which isn’t our fault, but we’ll have to get on with it.

Two Cup Finals and pulling clear of Crusaders and Glenavon is the prize on offer. That should be enough to get through this run of games.

And the draw for the Irish Cup is this Thursday. A crap lower league team away please.

Laptop battery issues mean that this blog is going out later and the draw for Euro 2020 has been made, and it’s a nightmare for Northern Ireland. We are really paying the price for out Nations League performance. It gets worse when you see Austria’s group.

We shouldn’t finish lower than 3rd, which should be good enough for a Play-Off, but may not be. We’ll also be keeping an eye out on Austria and Bosnia’s group. Meanwhile, one of Georgia, Belarus, Macedonia and Kosovo will be guaranteed a place in the finals regardless of where they finish in their qualifying groups.

The spin we had which was repeated by some Northern Ireland fans is that it gives us a better chance to qualify.

Remind me, how does the UEFA Nations League give Northern Ireland a better opportunity to qualify?

To make it worse, there’ll be no new teams for me, having already seen Holland, Germany, Estonia and Belarus.

That will start in late March 2019. Hopefully by then, Linfield will be back on top of table.

Photo Album

PHOTO DIARY OF A FOOTBALL SEASON : NOVEMBER

November’s football watching began with a long trip to Fermanagh to see Linfield beat Ballinamallard 6-0 in the pouring rain.

Up next, was Northern Ireland’s World Cup Play-Off against Switzerland. The following day, I headed to Ballymena to see Linfield take on Ballymena, giving me two disappointing results on successive days.

Results took an upturn in the final weeks of the month, as I headed to see Linfield beat the top two in the League, Coleraine and Glenavon, in successive weeks.

Ballinamallard United v Linfield

Northern Ireland v Switzerland

Northern Ireland v Switzerland Photo Album

Ballymena United v Linfield

Linfield v Coleraine

Glenavon v Linfield

2017 IN PICTURES – NOVEMBER 2017

November began with a long trip to Fermanagh to see Linfield take on Ballinamallard. It was raining goals and raining rain as Linfield won 6-0.

From going West, it was going East that was next on my agenda, as Northern Ireland took on Switzerland with the aim of going to Russia. They lost 1-0.

The following day, it was a trip to Ballymena, to see Linfield lose 2-1.

The following Friday, the entertainment was of a musical variety, as The Killers came to The Odyssey.

The photos continued on a musical theme, getting photos of a Run DMC mural in Belfast, as well as some Street Art beside Apache.

It was back to football, seeing Linfield beat Coleraine and Glenavon.

The last day of the month saw me cycle to Lisburn to get some Street art photos, including a mural of Top Cat.

Ballinamallard United v Linfield

Northern Ireland v Switzerland

Northern Ireland v Switzerland Photo Album

Ballymena United v Linfield

The Killers live at The Odyssey

The Killers live at The Odyssey Photo Album

Run DMC/Apache Mural

Run DMC Mural Photo Album

Apache Mural Photo Album

Linfield v Coleraine

Glenavon v Linfield

Lisburn Street Art

Lisburn Street Art Photo Album

2017 IN PICTURES – APRIL

April began for me with a trip to Lurgan for the Irish Cup Semi-Final, to see Linfield secure a late 1-0 win over Dungannon Swifts.

The following weekend was another 1-0 win for Linfield and just as important, a League win against Crusaders that blew the title race wide open.

April saw the launch of a new mural in Belfast City Centre, in the Cathedral Quarter, which I went and got photos of.

On Easter Saturday, I headed to Ballymena to see Linfield beat Ballymena 2-0.

On Easter Monday, I cycled to Lisburn to get some Street Art photos from the City Centre.

The following night, I headed to Windsor Park to see Linfield secure vital win over Glenavon.

On the following Saturday, the football continued, heading Coleraine to see Linfield beat Coleraine and finally get to the top of the Irish League.

Towards the end of the month, a mural of The Two Ronnies appeared in Belfast City Centre, so I headed out to get photos of this.

The penultimate day of the month saw me head to Solitude where Linfield needed to avoid defeat in order to win the Irish League. It didn’t look good at half-time, but a Andrew Waterworth hat-trick in the second-half saw the trophy head to Windsor Park.

Immediately after the game, there was a celebratory event at Windsor Park so that supporters unable to get into Solitude could join in the celebrations. Naturally, I was there getting photographs.

Dungannon Swifts v Linfield

Linfield v Crusaders

Pure Here, So It Is

Pure Here, So It Is Photo Album

Ballymena United v Linfield

Lisburn Street Art

Lisburn Street Art Photo Album

Linfield v Glenavon

Coleraine v Linfield

And It’s Goodnight From Me

And It’s Goodnight From Me Photo Album

Cliftonville v Linfield

Cliftonville v Linfield Photo Album

Windsor Park Title Celebrations

Windsor Park Title Celebrations Photo Album

2017 IN PICTURES – FEBRUARY

February 2017 began for me in Manchester, heading over to see United take on Hull City, while also getting some Street Art photos.

Back in Northern Ireland, I was on the road to Drumahoe to see Linfield take on Institute in the Irish Cup.

The next day, I was out on my bike for my biannual (usually February and August) visit to Belfast Peace Wall to get some photos of the Wall Art on the walls.

The following Saturday, another road trip, to Carrickfergus to see Linfield at Taylor’s Avenue

The following weekend, it was back to Windsor Park for Linfield, and a disappointing draw against Portadown.

The morning after, I was out on my bike to get photos of a Jamie Dornan mural in Belfast City Centre.

Later that day, it was another cup final, the NIFL Cup Final between Ballymena and Carrick.

The following weekend, I was Oval bound to see Linfield get a 1-0 win against Glentoran.

Manchester Street Art

Manchester Street Art Photo Album

Manchester United v Hull City

Manchester United v Hull City Photo Album

Institute v Linfield

Belfast Peace Wall Art

Belfast Peace Wall Art Photo Album

County Antrim Shield Final

County Antrim Shield Final Photo Album

Carrick Rangers v Linfield

Linfield v Portadown

Be My Valentine

Be My Valentine Photo Album

NIFL Cup Final

NIFL Cup Final Photo Album

Glentoran v Linfield

BALLYMENA UNITED 2-1 LINFIELD 10.11.2017

With Coleraine, Glenavon and Crusaders not in League action this weekend, the trip to Ballymena was a must win game which presented them with an opportunity to cut the gap at the top of the table. Defeat means that next Saturdays game against Coleraine at Windsor Park is more about staying in the title race rather than becoming actively involved in it.

There were two enforced changes from the starting eleven against Ballinamallard the previous week with Roy Carroll (International Duty) and Josh Robinson (Suspension) being replaced by Gareth Deane and Mark Stafford.

It didn’t take long for Linfield to take the lead in this game. Just three minutes were on the clock when a headed clearance fell to Robert Garrett who fired home low from outside the box to put Linfield 1-0 up.

It looked like it was going to be the first of many for Linfield as Ballymena looked nervous in defence, panicking and needlessly conceding cheap throws and corners. They looked like they were going to gift Linfield a goal at any time.

More Linfield pressure followed. Stephen Lowry had a shot cleared off the line and Kirk Millar fired over from a similar position to which Garrett scored.

Garrett tried his luck again from outside the box, but it was turned around the post by Ross Glendenning.

Inbetween that, there was a brief flurry from Ballymena. The best effort was a free-kick that Gareth Deane dropped it out for a corner when he should have held it. The resulting corner was headed over, reminding Linfield that this game was far from won.

Linfield led 1-0 at half-time and it could have been more. The game was far from won. A second goal should have been enough.

Linfield never got going at all at the start of the second-half, and it was no surprise when Conor McCloskey equalised from a long range free-kick.

The response was immediate, and Josh Rooney had a chance, but he toepoked wide, the finish of a player who is struggling for goals.

On the hour, Ballymena took the lead when a goal kick was flicked on for Johnny McMurray to spectacularly score from long range.

There’s no doubt it was a world class finish, and a video of the goal has been doing the rounds all over the internet.

However, from the defending team’s point of view, there have to be questions about the goalkeeper’s position (from an opposition goal kick) and why a defender close to him wasn’t immediately putting him under pressure as soon as he got the ball.

Linfield had their chances to equalise. Jordan Stewart fired over from inside the box just after Ballymena scored. He really should have scored.

Aaron Burns came on for Louis Rooney as Linfield searched for a comeback win. They closest they came was when a Mark Stafford header was saved by Glendenning.

That was the problem. Ross Glendenning was making saves, but he wasn’t making top class saves. They were just saves. Saves that you would expect any goalkeeper to make.

Linfield couldn’t get any momentum going.

Brandon Adams was brought on for Chris Casement. The Killers might not be in Belfast until the following Friday. Linfield fans were hoping that this would be the Friday night for Brandon to shine.

Kirk Millar fired wide on his left foot when he should have hit the target.

The problem when you miss the target at Ballymena is that it takes and age to get the ball back. Ballymena weren’t slow in slowing the game down, as Ballboys seemed to be reluctant to distribute the ball to restart the game.

Once again, another referee made a mug of. A referee who gave Andrew Waterworth a talking to for scoring when he was flagged offside, but stood and did nothing when Ballymena players were slowing the game down.

We need to get smart to this. We need to be getting in officials faces and making sure they act on it and stop giving teams a chance to kill games. Opposition players aren’t slow in letting the ref know if a Linfield player looks at them funny.

If Linfield could get an equaliser, they would surely go on and win the game. The problem was, getting that equaliser.

With each passing minute, Linfield’s ambitions were being downgraded to wanting an equaliser to be the springboard to winning the game, to just getting an equaliser to salvage something from the game.

That wasn’t helped when Robert Garrett got sent-off for a second yellow card in the final minutes.

Those final minutes saw five minutes of injury time. It could easily have been six.

There were plenty of stoppages in those five minutes, but only an extra five seconds were played. The game ended as Linfield were about to take an attacking throw.

The League table doesn’t make good reading as Linfield have now dropped to 5th after Cliftonville’s win over Ballinamallard. The ambition this weekend was to get closer to the top, not fall further behind.

It’s hard to explain. Linfield had enough chances to win. It sounds simple, but we need to take our chances and concentrate throughout the entire game.

There’s a November 2015 vibe about this current run. Games are being decided by small margins. This one was decided by two freakish top class goals.

The damming truth was, that when Ballymena went 2-1 up, we were hoping Linfield would get back into the game rather than expecting it.

Up next in the League is Coleraine and Glenavon. They were already must win, they are even more so now. It was a scrappy 1-0 win over Coleraine that got us out of a rut in the Winter of 2015 and kickstarted a run of form. We just need something to go our way.

With this win, Ballymena moved up to 7th, creating a damming statistic that 8th placed Dungannon are the highest ranked team that Linfield have beaten away from home in the League this season.

There’s a good starting point. How to fix it though?

It is in contrast to last season’s away form, where they last failed to win in November 2016, winning 16 successive games in all competitions. That statistic doesn’t include 2 games on neutral venues.

The big fear is, that this result might see a return of 451 in forthcoming matches.

Elsehwere, i’m in Manchester on the midweek of FA Cup 2nd Round Replays (I’m seeing United v Bournemouth on the Wednesday) and the draw has given Rochdale, Crewe and Wigan away games. Hoping for one of them to draw and play on the Tuesday night.

It is interesting to note that Crusaders Scottish Challenge Cup Semi-Final will be on 17th or 18th February. The NIFL Cup Final is scheduled for 17th February. There could be a major storm brewing if Crusaders reach the final of it.

Linfield could do the NIFL a massive favour by beating Crusaders on Wednesday night in the Quarter-Final.

They could give themselves a big one as well.

Photo Album