October was a busy month, right from the very start, heading to Dungannon on the first day of the month to see Linfield get a win at Stangmore Park.

That was followed a few days later by another away day, to a very wet Wilgar Park to see Linfield grind out a 1-0 win over Dundela.

The following night, it was the Ulster Hall to see Beabadoobee in concert.

Back on the road the following Saturday to see Linfield draw with Coleraine.

Then it was back to Ulster Hall to see Paul Weller.

Two days after that, it was Linfield v Glentoran, the less said of that the better.

The following day was a lot more enjoyable, making the most of a football free Saturday to check out Murlough Bay.

Over the next seven days came two Linfield home matches, against Glenavon and Larne.

The following week, I was off to Manchester, my first visit to see Erik Ten Hag’s United in the flesh, against Sheriff Tiraspol.

While I was there, I got some photos from a stroll along a canal, some Street Art (of course) and a walk up Hartshead Pike.

The month ended with a trip to Newry to see Linfield get some much needed three points.

Dungannon Swifts v Linfield

Dundela v Linfield

Beabadoobee live at Ulster Hall

Beabadoobee live at Ulster Hall Photo Album

Coleraine v Linfield

Paul Weller live at Ulster Hall

Paul Weller live at Ulster Hall Photo Album

Linfield v Glentoran

Murlough Bay Nature Reserve

Murlough Bay Nature Reserve Photo Album

Linfield v Glenavon

Linfield v Larne

Manchester Street Art

Manchester Street Art Photo Album

Manchester Canal Walk

Manchester Canal Walk Photo Album

Manchester United v Sheriff Tiraspol

Manchester Untied v Sheriff Tiraspol Photo Album

Hartshead Pike

Hartshead Pike Photo Album

Newry City v Linfield


August began with a trip to Windsor Park to see Linfield take on FC Zurich.

That was followed two days later by a trip to Spelga Dam for a stroll around Mourne Mountains.

Sunday was the new day for football, going to see Linfield take on Portadown and Newry City.

It was then back to Thursday nights for Linfield v RFS. The less said about that game, the better.

The end of August was a Bank Holiday Weekend, which I spent walking, with trips to Cavehill, Blackhead Path and Lisnabreeny Hill.

Sandwiched inbetween that was a trip to Taylor’s Avenue to see Linfield take on Carrick Rangers.

The less said about that, the better.

Linfield v FC Zurich

Mourne Rambling

Mourne Rambling Photo Album

Linfield v Portadown

Newry City v Linfield

Linfield v RFS


Cavehill Photo Album

Blackhead Path

Blackhead Path Photo Album

Carrick Rangers v Linfield

Lisnabreeny Hill

Lisnabreeny Hill Photo Album

NEWRY CITY 0-2 LINFIELD 29.10.2022

The grand return to Windsor Park after ten successive away games didn’t really go as hoped, with two defeats out of three and nine goals conceded.

An away game offered some relief, even if it was a ground where Top Six sides, Linfield included, had found a tricky place to visit.

It was hoped that a clear week with no midweek match would have cleared minds. There was a return to 4-2-3-1, with Andrew Clarke playing in behind Robbie McDaid.

McDaid almost gave Linfield a dream start, inside the first ten seconds when he picked up possession, made space for himself, but his well struck left foot effort was saved.

Linfield were having a lot of good pressure early on. Not surprising considering that the weather was in their favour.

Blustery wind was causing problems for Newry’s keeper, Whenever a cross came in, the ball was not going to where he anticipated that it would usually go on a normal Saturday.

Linfield had to take advantage of this.

They also had to try and get a two goal lead (at least) for the last ten minutes.

Defending a one goal lead with the win in Newry’s favour in the second-half would be a very uncomfortable watch, and Linfield fans have had too many uncomfortable watches recently.

Just past the quarter hour, Linfield took the lead when Robbie McDaid was played in and finished low.

As soon as he got the ball, you just knew there was going to be a goal. A welcome change in mood.

Despite the early lead, Linfield didn’t kick on.

It was Newry who had the best chance, when James Teelan was played through. It was a chance similar to the one that brought the corner for their goal in August (if you’re still following that)

Thankfully, his low shot was well held by Chris Johns rather than turned behind for a corner.

Daniel Hughes got in behind Linfield’s defence but his shot from a wide angle was easily save, while Andrew Clarke was denied a certain goal by a lat gasp block.

In truth, it hadn’t been a good first-half from Linfield.

The only positive, apart from McDaid’s goal, was that it had stayed dry. Yep, I was watching from the terracing at the side of the pitch.

Strangely, this first-half was very similar to the game in August between the sides.

After Linfield had a shot on goal in the opening minute of the first-half, Newry had one in the opening minute of the second, with Donal Rocks getting a sight of goal but firing well over.

The much hoped for improvement from Linfield didn’t come. The game was still in the balance.

Repeating what I said earlier, Linfield really needed a second goal. Defending a one goal lead in this weather could get very uncomfortable.

It looked like that much needed second goal was going to come when Joel Cooper got on the end of a cross, but his header from a few yards out hit the bar.

From the resulting goal kick, Linfield won back possession and Robbie McDaid set up Joel Cooper to finish inside the penalty area.

A lot deadlier from 14/15 yards than 2/3 yards.

Linfield had a much needed cushion, it was hard to see Newry coming back from this.

Especially when Ciaran O’Connor received a red card. Any chance Newry had of coming back into the game was gone.

By this point, the weather had changed from from dull, dark and grey skies to sunshine.

You could say it was a metaphor for Linfield’s mood.

With the clocks going back the following day, it would give Linfield fans one last chance to leave a match in daylight.

They were almost leaving having seen one more goal, with Matthew Clarke’s cross/shot having to be tipped over.

2-0 was enough, a much needed win ahead of a busy run of games in November.

The weather might have been different from Linfield’s last visit in August, but three points are always welcome no matter what time of year.

Photo Album


Three points in the bag but it was nervy at times, as Linfield made it two wins out of two domestically ahead of their European Date With Destiny.

Away to a newly promoted side early in the season is never ideal. They’re feeling good about life and reckon they can beat anyone. Linfield found that out the hard way on the opening day back in 1998 at Newry.

With this game being sandwiched inbetween two big European games, it was no surprise that David Healy shuffled his pack for this game in front of a large crowd.

Newry lined-up with their kit looking like Espanyol in weather that was Catalan at times, while Linfield lined up in their Hearts/Aston Villa away kit, debuted the previous Thursday.

I noticed something a bit curious, or at least I think I did.

Is it me, or have Newry narrowed their pitch?

It seemed to confuse Linfield players who were conceding lots of throws by passing it to where they though the touchline should be.

Despite that, Linfield had the first chance of the game, when Kirk Millar was played through in a wide position but his shot across goal was well saved.

Newry weren’t here to play for a 0-0 and weren’t afraid to make their way into Linfield’s final third.

They responded a few minutes later when Noel Healy burst through from a wide position but his shot across goal was saved by the legs of Chris Johns.

One Healy was left frustrated while another Healy was relieved.

Linfield were next to be frustrated in their attempts to take the lead when Jamie Mulgrew burst into the penalty area.

Just as the crowd were expecting him to smash it into the net, he pulled it back and a Newry defender was there to get a foot on it and clear the danger.

Ethane Devine was next to be frustrated when his shot was deflected low and wide.

When you are 3 or 4-0 up, that usually ends up in the bottom corner. Never when you are drawing 0-0.

Linfield’s frustration didn’t last for long as they took the lead from the resulting corner.

Newry could head the ball clear to Joel Cooper, whose inswinging cross was finished from close range by Eetu Vertainen.

I had initially thought he was offside as he was in so much space but replays showed that he times his run perfectly.

It looked like they were going to get an opportunity to get a second goal when Joel Cooper was fouled as he headed to the byline to get ready to cross.

Surprisingly, no penalty was given. It was a pretty clear penalty.

Cooper got punished for his own honesty for trying to play on instead of rolling around in agony.

Soon after, Cameron Palmer had an opportunity from a cross but his deft effort goalwards was saved at the expense of a corner.

Linfield soon got a 2-0 lead when Eetu Vertainen fired home from outside the box..

A good lead, but far from comfortable. Linfield needed a three goal lead just to be sure.

Newry had been giving as good as they were getting and were more than capable of getting a goal that would make the game a contest.

And so it proved, when John McGovern was able to burst through Linfield’s midfield and defence, finding himself through on goal, only to see his effort saved by Chris Johns.

He really should have scored. However, the respite was short lived for Linfield, as Newry pulled a goal back from a Lorcan Forde header to make it 2-1.

On the balance of the game, it would be hard to begrudge Newry a goal.

A lead at half-time, with an element of frustration to concede in the final ten minutes of the half.

Despite the lead, there was a lot of possession cheaply given away. A bad habit.

Things weren’t exactly much better at the start of the second-half.

You were starting to worry if it was one of those games. You know exactly what I mean. 2-2 written all over it.

If it did, you would have to give serious consideration to binning this new away kit due to being a jinx.

Act now, not in April like when United ditched their grey kit.

Eventually, Linfield got themselves going, and were denied a penalty for a challenge on Eetu Vertainen by Newry’s keeper.

Conor Pepper then headed over as Linfield looked for a third goal they desperately needed.

They got a reminder of that when Matthew Clarke was forced to make a block in his own penalty area.

With just over ten minutes to go, Linfield got a third goal when Andrew Clarke finished from a Joel Cooper cross.

Finally, a decisive lead for Linfield.

Although, the game was far from won, even at this late stage of the game.

Newry might have been deflated but they wouldn’t be demoralised.

Having had a go for most of they match, they weren’t going to give up now.

If they got one, it would set up a grand finale. Linfield just had to make sure they didn’t do anything stupid.

They didn’t. The only moment of danger they had to worry about was a shot from Newry that flashed wide.

3-1 at full-time, and a result that sent Linfield top of the table, one of only two sides with a perfect record just two games into the season.

It was a temporary reign at the top, as there was a midweek fixture list two days later that Linfield weren’t involved in. Their match at home to Larne was postponed because ………… you should know why it was postponed.

Midway through the second-half, it was looking like a good night (apart from the Coleraine match) without playing, but Ballymena United, Dungannon Swifts and Portadown decided to be useless and not hold on for their results.

No need to worry, there are still 36 League games left for Linfield, plenty of points available to grab.

Up next, the big European Date With Destiny against RFS.

Photo Album


February didn’t get off to the best start, as I headed to Windsor Park to see Linfield exit the Irish Cup against Crusaders.

Things got better the following Saturday as Linfield came from 2-0 down to score a last minute winner against Coleraine.

It got a lot better the following Saturday as Linfield beat Ballymena United to win the NIFL Cup.

Finally, it was time for my first concerts of the year, going to see Chvrches at Ulster Hall, then Razorlight at The Limelight the following evening.

That was followed by some more football, as Linfield took on Ballymena United again, this time in the League, and then a midweek trip to Newry to see Linfield grind out a 1-0 win.

Linfield v Crusaders

Linfield v Coleraine

NIFL Cup Final

NIFL Cup Final Photo Album

Chvrches live at Ulster Hall

Chvrches live at Ulster Hall Photo Album

Razorlight live at The Limelight

Razorlight live at The Limelight Photo Album

Linfield v Ballymena United

Newry City v Linfield


February’s football watching was spent at Windsor Park, where I spent every Saturday of the month.

It began with Linfield exiting the Irish Cup to Crusaders, then come from 2-0 down to beat Coleraine with a last minute winner, beat Ballymena United to win the NIFL Cup, and then beat them again in the League.

The month ended with a trip to Newry to see Linfield secure a late and dramatic 1-0 win.

Linfield v Crusaders

Linfield v Coleraine

Linfield v Ballymena United (NIFL Cup)

NIFL Cup Final Photo Album

Linfield v Ballymena United (League)

Newry City v Linfield


October’s football watching began at The Oval, to see Linfield get a win over Glentoran.

That was then followed by Newry City’s first League visit to Windsor Park since 2011, and we were treated to a hat-trick from Jimmy Callacher.

That was then followed by two road trips, firstly to Clandeboye Park, where Linfield suffered their first defeat of the season, and then to Stangmore Park, where Linfield came from behind to beat Dungannon Swifts.

Glentoran v Linfield

Linfield v Newry City

Ards v Linfield

Dungannon Swifts v Linfield


There wasn’t much time for Linfield to dwell on the match against Ballymena United, as they were back into League action three days later, as both they and Ballymena played in rearranged games that were postponed due to the League Cup Final.

This was supposed to be the second of two Friday night visits to Newry, but due to postponements and the League Cup Final, it was the second of two Tuesday night visits. Though, with both teams out of the Irish Cup, there was no reason why it couldn’t have been put back to Saturday 2nd March.

Tuesday night it was, and Linfield would have to get on with it, and it would be a Linfield eleven with two enforced changes from the second of those 1-0 wins against Ballymena, with Jimmy Callacher (suspension) and Jamie Mulgrew (injury) missing.

Newry will have been glad to see Callacher not on the field, having scored a hat-trick when the sides met at Windsor Park in October. Though, he is currently experiencing a goal drought recently, having failed to net since scoring twice at Ards on New Year’s Day.

Mulgrew’s absence meant a place on bench for Benny Moller Nielsen, while Andrew Mitchell made a welcome return to bench after a period of Injury and Compassionate Leave. Ironically, it was an injury that he suffered against Newry in late January.

With Jamie Mulgrew joining Stephen Fallon on the injury list, centre midfield was starting to look like a problem position for Linfield, so getting players coming back in that area is always welcome.

I was running slightly late and missed the first couple of minutes. It certainly wasn’t as bad as the time I got stuck in Newry traffic and only managed to get in the ground in time to see Curtis Allen put Linfield 1-0 up, on a day stood in the rain watching Linfield win 6-0, while Glentoran were losing at home to Coleraine by the same score. It was that long ago, Glentoran were defending champions.

Back to the present day, and as I arrived, Marek Cervenka was being played through to finish, only to be denied by and offside flag.

It was one of many frustrating moments in the first-half for Linfield, the ball being mostly in Newry’s half, but not near enough near Newry’s goal.

Ryan McGivern, playing in his home city, couldn’t twist to put the ball home from close range, while Mark Stafford was denied by the crossbar from a header after a corner.

The only chance that Linfield’s pressure could bring, was a Marek Cervenka shot that was fired over under pressure.

As the half-time whistle blew, with the score at 0-0, Linfield knew they had to step it up, especially with Ballymena beating Cliftonville 1-0.

This combination of results would have undone to good work by beating Ballymena the previous Saturday. Even though we’d be a point better off than we were two games previous, we’d be letting Ballymena back into the title race instead of keeping them at arms length.

Whatever was said at half-time, it was brief and to the point, as Linfield’s players were back out while Newry’s were still in the dressing room.

Linfield were straight on the attack in the opening minutes of the second-half, already showing more attacking intent than they did in the first-half. It looked like getting an instant reward when Andrew Waterworth headed home, but he was denied by the offside flag.

The closest that Linfield came to legally scoring was when Mark Stafford headed over from a corner.

Newry rode it out, and suddenly, Linfield were running short of ideas. Usually, it was kicking it out wide to Kirk Millar and hope that he won the flick, but not knowing what to do if he won it.

Andrew Waterworth got in behind Newry’s defence and was fouled. From where I was, it looked like the Newry defender just about won the ball just outside the penalty area. There was a bit of commotion between Newry’s protest, and the issue of a yellow card. During this, Josh Robinson placed the ball on the penalty spot in anticipation of a spot kick, only for it to be a jedi mind trick, as the referee pointed for a free-kick.

It was on the line, as close to the penalty area as possible. The only option was to smash it low and see if the keeper can get down quick enough. Chris Casement tried to place it, and it was blocked.

On a night that Linfield weren’t creating many chances, they had to make the most of those that came their way.

David Healy turned to the bench, bringing on Michael O’Connor and Jordan Stewart for Daniel Kearns and Marek Cervenka.

However, it was Ryan McGivern who had Linfield’s next big chance, firing just wide.

Kyle McClean then had a shot blocked from the edge of the box, unable to recreate his recent heroics against Coleraine, setting himself up when he needed to shoot instantly, giving Andy Coleman a chance to get into position.

Newry began to grow in confidence, and sensed they could win this 1-0. They almost did but Gareth Deane had to rush out of his goal and intercept a through ball.

Even though it was 0-0 rather than 1-1 going into the final minutes, this game had similarities to trips to Ballinamallard (2017) and Dungannon (2018) in recent years, being frustrated, out of sorts at times and having to guard against conceding on the counter attack.

Linfield won those previous two games, and were hoping to do likewise in this.

On a night when they were struggling in attack, it seemed strange not to introduce Lorcan Forde from the bench, to offer something different.

Having failed to score in 90 minutes, Linfield would have 5 more, as the board for injury time came up.

They only needed 2, as a Niall Quinn cross was headed home by Chris Casement, to ecstatic scenes in the away support.

It was only his third goal of the season, but the second time in 2019 he has come out of nowhere to score a vital goal, having put Linfield in front when they were struggling against Glentoran in January.

By this point, Ballymena had left the pitch having beaten Cliftonville, this goal maintained Linfield’s nine point lead, deflating Ballymena’s hopes of cutting the gap before Linfield travel to Mid and East Antrim Council Stock Car Arena in April.

It was a goal cursed by one former Linfield manager but celebrated by another, with David Jeffrey and Warren Feeney keeping an interest in this result, a game which affected both ends of the table.

Linfield’s current manager seemed quite happy with the goal.

It is unknown what Trevor Anderson, Eric Bowyer or Roy Coyle made of the goal.

There was still time remaining in the game, but thankfully, Linfield were able to see out the game and win 1-0. It was their third clean sheet in a row, after conceding six in their previous three games.

Late goals, wins, clean sheets. All good habits to have at any time of year, but especially in the run-in.

This will be Linfield’s last match in Newry and Mourne this season, but i’m already looking to next season’s visits, crossing my fingers that Linfield will be away to Warrenpoint Town on Saturday 5th October, so that I can go to the John Power concert after the match.

As said earlier and in recent weeks, I was hoping this game would be on the following Saturday as both teams are free.

However, we can use this to our advantage, having a break to rest legs and get players in condition for the run-in, after a demanding run of games over the past three months, including a lot of away games, six pointers, and Cup Finals/Semi-Finals.

As the teams were leaving the pitch, the floodlights started to dim. Linfield’s title ambitions are very much still shining bright.

Photo Album


I had to wait until the 8th of the month for a photo adventure, heading to The Oval to see Linfield take on Glentoran.

That was then followed up by a trip to Windsor Park the following Saturday to see Linfield take on Newry City.

Another weekend, another football match, as I then headed to the Seaside to see Linfield take on Ards.

The following weekend, began with Rugby, as I headed to Ravenhill to see Ulster take on Dragons.

It was back to football the following day as I headed to Stangmore Park to see Linfield take on Dungannon Swifts.

The month ended with a trip to The Odyssey to see U2 in concert.

Glentoran v Linfield

Linfield v Newry City

Ards v Linfield

Ulster v Dragons

Ulster v Dragons Photo Album

Dungannon Swifts v Linfield

U2 live at The Odyssey

U2 live at The Odyssey Photo Album

LINFIELD 3-1 NEWRY CITY 13.10.2018

With it raining all day, it was certainly the weather for staying indoors with your feet up. That’s what Glenavon were doing, though that postponement was due to international call-ups.

This presented an opportunity for Linfield to go top of the League with a win over Newry City.

This match also represented a milestone point in the season, the eleventh game when everybody has played each other once. Well, that should have been the case, with two games postponed today (one due to international call-ups, and another due to Coleraine’s involvement in the Scottish Challenge Cup) and Ballymena United v Glentoran being postponed a few weeks ago, only half of the teams in the League will have reached that milestone today.

It was an unchanged starting eleven for Linfield, with Chris Casement having to make do with a place on the bench after injury. Thankfully unchanged, as it meant that Joel Cooper was fit to start having been substituted in the early minutes of the second-half at The Oval on Monday night.

This was Newry’s first League visit to Windsor Park since February 2011, though they did visit in the Irish Cup last season. Amazingly, there were two players starting this game who started that day – Robert Garrett for Linfield and Andy Coleman for Newry, both in their second spell at their respective clubs.

There would have been some doing a double take when the teams came out, with a clash of socks saw them wearing blue sock, and looking very much like HSV Hamburg.

Newry, unsurprisingly, were spending the opening minutes defending, and it was nor surprise when Linfield took the lead on 10 minutes when Jimmy Callacher headed home from a corner.

As in most games he plays, Michael O’Connor was involved in a lot of Linfield’s attacks, the closest he came to scoring was when he was just unable to get on the end of a low Joel Cooper cross.

Eventually, Newry began to show themselves as an attacking force, with Jimmy Callacher being forced to make a last gasp tackle to deny Newry, while Roy Carroll made a spectacular save from a long range shot.

It was perhaps apt, in the week that Alan Blayney announced his retirement, it was almost a cover version of a save that Alan Blayney made in this fixture in October 2010.

Daniel Kearns headed over as Linfield chased a 2-0 lead, which eventually came when Jimmy Callacher headed home again.

It was the third time he had scored two in a game, having done so against Ards in 2016 and against Warrenpoint earlier this year.

Linfield were in the mood to go in at half-time 3-0 up, with Joel Cooper hitting the post before having a low shot saved by Coleman, who would later stretch out an arm from close range to deny Michael O’Connor.

In that incident, O’Connor collided with a goalpost, but was thankfully able to continue.

The second-half continued with more Linfield dominance, with Michael O’Connor controlled but fired over, while a nice move saw Robert Garrett hit the bar and go out for a goal kick.

In search of a hat-trick, Jimmy Callacher had a penalty appeal turned down when he appeared to be grappled. The fallout from that incident saw Josh Robinson pick up a yellow card for dissent. It was the third yellow card this season he has picked up that could easily have been avoided. This is an issue that needs to be addressed by him, or else he will pick up a one game ban, and might not get back into the team.

The third goal that Linfield needed didn’t come, and suddenly they would need it, as a bout of pinball in the penalty area saw a Kevin McArdle shot be deflected past Roy Carroll.

Newry, were suddenly back in the game.

Before you could say that Newry were back in the game, they were back out of the game.

The goal jolted Linfield back to life, going straight on the attack, winning a corner, which was headed home by you know who.

Having sense that a hat-trick was on, Callacher was like a man possessed every time Linfield got an attacking set piece. Nobody was going to deny him the matchball.

That was the three points secured, as Linfield went top of the League, albeit that Glenavon have a game in hand.

After the game, it turned out the two sides could be meeting again next month, as the draw for the Quarter-Finals of the League Cup saw Newry City or Portadown drawn at home to Linfield or Institute. Newry City (2010-2011) and Portadown (2008-2009) have both eliminated Linfield from the competition since they last won it.

It’s been so long since Linfield won it, Glenn Ferguson scored the winner in the Final. I’m used now to just writing the competition off. I’m not even confident that we’ll beat Institute.

Next weekend, is a trip to Ards, a ground that has been kind to Linfield in recent years, so hopefully, another win can be notched up to keep the pressure on Glenavon, and everybody else in the League.

If things had worked out differently, it could have been a weekend of groundhopping instead. I’m not sure why I didn’t book it, but I never got round to booking a trip to Northern Ireland’s trip to Austria. If I did, I would have made it a double header and seen in Slovakia v Czech Republic this afternoon. If you care, Czech Republic won 2-1.

Not going to lie, I really wish Linfield were involved in the Scottish Challenge Cup, especially when you see the complete disaster Coleraine made of their trip to Connah’s Quay.

Saturday night game in North Wales, 2.30am boat home and a midnight meal in the Holyhead branch of McDonalds. Sounds like heaven.

Today’s trip to Windsor Park that I did make, was worthwhile and enjoyable.

Photo Album