CRUSADERS 0-2 LINFIELD 4.3.2017

Today at Seaview was not make or break for Linfield’s season. Defeat, though disappointing, wouldn’t have signalled the end of 2016-2017 as a competitive matter. However, a 2-0 win for Linfield means that, if they do the business in their three remaining League matches in March, April has the potential to be a very interesting month for Linfield.

Crusaders went into this game hoping for fifth time lucky, on two counts. They were hoping for a first win of the season against Linfield at the fifth attempt. If they did that, they would be hoping to reach the Irish Cup Final for the first time since 2012, after four successive Semi-Final defeats.

An Irish Cup Quarter-Final in North Belfast wasn’t a new experience for Linfield, having won 3-0 at Solitude on this weekend last year. Linfield went into that game looking to get a win against a team they had struggled againts in recent years and hadn’t beaten in a while. This year, they were facing a team they knew how to beat, winning three and drawing two of the last six games against Crusaders.

Linfield were boosted by the returns of Roy Carroll and Mark Haughey for this match, coming in for Alex Moore and Reece Glendenning, the only changes from last week’s win at The Oval.

The pre-match arrangements were farcical, as I looked for the turnstile on my ticket, a Police Officer told me what turnstile to go to, and when I got to that turnstile, I got told to go elsewhere. The very same thing happened when I attended the League Cup Final at Seaview two weeks ago.

It turned out that the turnstile I had to go to was a Fire Exit being used to let people in. Seriously, if you’re going to direct people to certain entrances on their ticket, at least have it signposted where it is.

And as a bonus, they put up segregation between Linfield supporters in the Shore Road Stand and the St Vincent Road Stand. One of the advantages of Seaview is being able to freely move position during the game. Can’t even do that now. For future reference, i’ll just make sure I have a ticket for the St Vincent Road Stand.

There weren’t many chances for Linfield, Mainly due to the fact that any time they did try to go on the attack, it was usually stopped by a Crusaders foul. The early minutes were dominated by Crusaders fouls, their players safe in the knowledge that referee’s cards would remain in his pocket due to it being “too early” to issue a yellow card.

Crusaders fired a lot of crosses into Linfield’s box which was mostly defended, barring a few shaky moments, resulting in a few needless corners and throws conceded.

Linfield’s first real quality attacking moment saw Andrew Waterworth get enough space to tee up an onrushing Steven Lowry, whose shot was saved by Sean O’Neill’s feet, with Paul Smyth firing over the rebound.

Crusaders best chance came when a Rodney Brown header was easily saved by Roy Carroll, while Linfield ended the half with Paul Smyth firing wide, Jimmy Callacher having an effort cleared off the goal-line (it was hitting the post anyway) and Steven Lowry heading over.

It was 0-0 at half-time, just as it was at Solitude last year in the Quarter-Final against Cliftonville. The big difference was the weather, with hail and rain falling from the sky for most of the first-half.

Gavin Whyte had Crusaders best chance in the early minutes of the second-half, but his near post effort was tipped wide by Roy Carroll, while Linfield belatedly got into the second-half, with Niall Quinn heading agonisingly wide.

As each minute passed at 0-0, it was clear that the first goal was going to be key. Jordan Owens had the ball in the net for Crusaders, heading home from a corner. The goal was rightly disallowed for a foul by David Cushley blocking off Roy Carroll.

Paul Smyth was the danger man for Linfield, whipping in a cross into the six yard box which agonisingly missed everyone. The next time he got free, would be the moment Linfield got the breakthrough.

Smyth got the ball on the right hand side and ran towards goal, making his way into the penalty area. As the crowd waited to see if he was going to pass or shoot, Billy Joe Burns attempted a last gasp tackle and brought him down, the referee pointing to the spot. It was such a clear penalty, even the Crusaders players didn’t complain, and they’ll complain about anything.

Crusaders had been the beneficiaries of penalty misses by the opposition this season. The County Antrim Shield Final wasn’t one of those games, as Steven Lowry put Linfield 3-1 up with a spot kick in that game.

Lowry went to the same side today, O’Neill guessed he might and went that way. It didn’t matter, the power beat him, and Linfield were 1-0 up. Three from three from the spot from Lowry in recent weeks.

Aaron Burns for Cameron Stewart was a substitution that was always going to happen in the second-half. It came a bit later than people would have expected, David Healy having an eye on the fact that this game might need 120 minutes rather than 90.

Despite an aerial bombardment, Linfield were relatively comfortable at 1-0 up. Like in the League game on New Year’s Eve and the County Antrim Shield Final, as long as Linfield did nothing stupid, they would see the game out.

Paul Smyth went off inured and was replaced by Sean Ward. The obvious replacement would have been Kirk Millar. One criticism I have of David Healy is that he is easily tempted to go defensive sometimes. If Crusaders did force extra-time, we would have no attacking threat (no offence to Sean Ward) in right midfield in the extra half hour.

In truth, Linfield were never in danger, and made sure of it as injury time approached as Jamie Mulgew charged forward. It looked like he was playing to win a corner, but got the the byline, got past a defender, and crossed to Niall Quinn to head home from close range to make it 2-0.

As soon as the ball went in, the home stands at Seaview emptied. Linfield supporters who had bought tickets for the Crusaders end were easy to spot. They were the ones still in their seat.

For the second successive season, Linfield had won an Irish Cup Quarter-Final in North Belfast. We even got a repeat of the sunshine that Linfield fans celebrated in at Solitude last year.

Unlike last season, we didn’t get a couple of comedy red cards in the final minutes. That would have been greedy. We did get Jordan Forsythe going in hard on Jamie Mulgrew on the touchline, a tackle that was born of frustration. Mulgrew just got up and laughed at him. It was the perfect response.

The other ten teams in the League might be scared of Crusaders. Linfield, certainly aren’t.

Naturally, attention turned to the Semi-Final draw, and Linfield were paired with Dungannon Swifts at Mourneview Park. Very happy with that choice of venue.

The other Semi-Final is between Coleraine and Glenavon. I’m glad that Coleraine won today as it continues their unbeaten run. They host Crusaders at the end of the month. That game can’t come soon enough as far as Linfield are concerned.

However, Linfield need to help themselves, starting with the home match against Cliftonville next Monday night. That game will be broadcast live on Sky Sports by the way.

Photo Album

BALLYMENA UNITED 2-0 CARRICK RANGERS 18.2.2017

When Cliftonville exited the League Cup at the Quarter-Final stage in November, it was guaranteed that the League Cup would be leaving North Belfast after residing at Solitude since 2013. When it was announced that Seaview would be the venue for this year’s final, the trophy would be metaphorically and literally leaving North Belfast.

It wouldn’t be leaving too far, a short journey up the motorway to Ballymena or Carrickfergus.

Carrick were hoping that my presence would inspire them. I’ve been something of a good luck charm for them in recent years, being there when they won the Steel and Sons Cup Final, at Seaview funnily enough, in 2014, and for their penultimate game of the season in 2015 against the PSNI, a vital win which set them up for promotion if they won their final game, which they did.

The early minutes saw Ballymena pressure but nothing come of it. Despite that, there was still no opportunity for Carrick to relax. They didn’t help themselves, creating pressure for themselves when a clearance hit one of their own defenders and put them back under pressure. Later on, Brian Neeson punched a corner away, hitting one of his defenders. Fortunately for Carrick, the ball bounced out for another corner.

Allan Jenkins had Ballymena’s first attempt at goal when his header went over. It was Carrick who had the first real chance of the game when TJ Murray fired over from inside the penalty area when unmarked. It wasn’t a clear goalscoring opportunity but he should have done so much better, keep it low and at least make the keeper make a save.

Ross Glendenning was eventually forced into a save from a long range shot from Carrick’s other Murray, Martin. It was one of those saves usually referred to as a “Photographer’s save”. He did get lucky that there were no Carrick players close enough to capitalise on his parry, as he picked up the rebound.

Ballymena’s first real attempt on goal came when Johnny McMurray’s long range shot had to be tipped over by Brian Neeson. McMurray’s next attempt at goal was a snapshot that went just wide.

It looked like being a frustrating evening for Ballymena, until Willie Faulkner ran at Carrick’s defence to create space to get a cross in, which was finished by Allan Jenkins to put Ballymena 1-0 up. For the second successive Saturday, Carrick found themselves going in at half-time to a goal in the final minute of the half.

Carrick, who were set up to win 1-0, now had to win this 2-1.

Carrick actually made a good start to the second-hal, knocking Ballymena off their stride. Despite that, it never looked like an equaliser was inevitible.

There was more frustration for Ballymena when McMurray, Kane and Jenkins all missed chances to score. A 2-0 lead, no matter how long was left would have been enough to secure the trophy. Jenkins miss was the worst of the lot, firing over from close range when, like TJ Murray in the first-half, all he had to do was keep it low and get it on target.

It looked like Ballymena were going to be made to pay for it when a header from a free-kick fell to Adam Salley. He got enough to header it over the onrushing Ross Glendenning, but not enough for the ball to loop in. That was Carrick’s big moment. It never looked like Carrick were going to get another chance like that.

It was another set piece which provided Carrick’s next chance, a low shot from a free-kick teed to Nathan McConnell was saved by Ross Glendinning when it looked like it was going to sneak in.

Unsurprisingly, as the team trailing 1-0, Carrick had a lot of the ball in the final minutes of the game, but Ballymena always looked like holding firm, despite their unusually high amount of goals conceded this season for a team in the top half.

The biggest moment of worry for Ballymena came when TJ Murray went down in the box. I was not far from the incident and didn’t think it was a penalty at the time. Looking back at the incident, i’ve seen them given. If you’re Carrick, you’ll scream for it, if you’re Ballymena, you’d be fuming if it was given against you. It’s a decision that would be easier for the referee to give if the ball was in the middle of the park.

The Ballymena defender did just enough to get his body in the road to stop Murray getting through.

As the game approached injury time, Ballymena got a second on the counter attack when Conor McCloskey was played through and smashed it home from a wide position. It was a goal that deserved to have Alan Partridge commentary.

Carrick’s players were fuming as the game wasn’t stopped in the build-up for TJ Murray to get treatment for an injury sustained in the tackle which won the ball for Ballymena to counter.

For the second successive Saturday, Carrick lost 2-0 as a result of goals in the final minute of each half.

Interesting day in the Glendenning household, with Ross winners medal being trumped by Reece’s hat-trick for Linfield Swifts earlier in the day.

Ballymena fans celebrated their first major trophy since 1989, and now both teams turn their attentions to the rest of the season. Ballymena fans dreaming of Europe either via winning the UEFA Cup Play-Off Final or the Irish Cup. Carrick aren’t dreaming of Europe, but rather Linfield, Glentoran, Ballymena and all the other top flight clubs they will be hoping to visit for League games next season.

Photo Album

2016 IN PICTURES – DECEMBER (SO FAR …..)

December began for me with a trip to The Limelight, a venue I would be spending a bit of time at this month, to see Primal Scream in concert.

Two Days later, I was headed to Windsor Park to see Linfield get a routine win over Carrick Rangers.

I then headed out into Belfast to get some photos of a mural of Jack Nicholson

That night, I headed back to The Limelight to see Ocean Colour Scene in concert.

The following weekend, I was Bangor bound to see Linfield take on Ards, and then back to The Limelight (I know, becoming a regular) to see Cast in concert.

The morning after that, I was out on my bike to get some Street Art photos, in Great Victoria Street and a mural of Prince in Botanic.

On the middle Saturday in December, I headed to Windsor Park to see Linfield record a late win over Ballymena United.

The weekend before Christmas saw me being busy, taking in Ulster v Connacht for my annual Rugby match, and then the following morning heading to Seaview to see Linfield Swifts win the Steel and Sons Cup.

There’s still a bit of the month left. Two big Linfield matches, against Glentoran and Crusaders. I’m also hoping to get a chance to head to Lisburn to get some Street Art photos.

And then, that will be me for 2016. Don’t worry, there’ll be Camera Adverntures in 2017.

Primal Scream live at The Limelight

Primal Scream live at The Limelight Photo Album

Linfield v Carrick Rangers

Jack

Ocean Colour Scene live at The Limelight

Ocean Colour Scene live at The Limelight Photo Album

Ards v Linfield

Cast live at The Limelight

Cast live at The Limelight Photo Album

Great Victoria Street Art

Great Victoria Street Art Photo Album

Prince Mural

Prince Mural Photo Album

Linfield v Ballymena United

Ulster v Connacht

Ulster v Connacht Photo Album

Dundela v Linfield Swifts

Dundela v Linfield Swifts Photo Album

DUNDELA 1-3 LINFIELD SWIFTS 24.12.2016

With Christmas Day falling on a Sunday this year, it meant that the Steel and Sons Cup Final would be played on Christmas Eve this year. Very convenient for me. I’d always been planning to go this year, the fact that Linfield Swifts would be competing this year was a nice bonus.

The opponents would be Dundela, who they beat the last time they won the trophy. Most of Linfield’s team today weren’t born then. It wasn’t that long ago, 1997, it’s just that most of Linfield’s team today were so young.

There wouldn’t have been many that casual observers wouldn’t have recognised, apart from Reece Glendinning, who had the most first-team experience of the Linfield side, a relative veteran at the age of 21, with Stephen Fallon the second most experienced player.

Eamon Scanell and Ryan Strain have both played first-team games for Linfield, as had substitute Jake Moore. You could count them combined on one hand though.

Cameron Stewart was recently an unused substitute for the first-team against Ards.

The main focus would have been on Jonny Frazer, who has also made first-team appearances, and was the hat-trick hero in the Semi-Final win over Crumlin Star.

The reason for Linfield’s team being so young was due to the restrictions on Steel and Sons Cup participation, as players with International caps (Carson, Carroll, Clingan) and League/Cup winners medals (Mulgrew, Callacher, Ward, Waterworth) being unable to play.

And then there’s the fact that the first-time have a slightly big game on Monday.

Linfield’s first-team beat Dundela 3-1 in a friendly in July, not that that game would have a bearing on today’s game.

Dundela had a few familiar faces, with Youtube Star Matty Burrows taking time out from hanging out with Chris Crocker and Zoella, and Matthew Ferguson, son of Linfield’s Academy Director Glenn Ferguson, making it a mixed Christmas for the Ferguson family, regardless of the result.

There wasn’t a lot of opportunities in the early minutes of the game. Cameron Stewart was the focus of Linfield’s attacks, making his presence known to Dundela’s defence.

Dundela’s tackling seemed to be a tribute to the game being held at Seaview but Linfield’s youngsters held firm.

Stewart had Linfield’s best chance when he got in behind Dundela’s defence but fired straight at the keeper.

Eamon Scannell had a long-range shot saved as Linfield began to build pressure on Dundela. They got the goal they deserved when a free-kick fell to Reece Glendinning to fire home from close range. His dad walked past me before the game. He’ll have another Cup Final for his other footballing son in a few months time as well.

Within a minute, Cameron Stewart got the goal he deserved when he scored from close range after his initial shot was saved to put Linfield 2-0 up.

A couple of minutes later, Scannell hit the bar from a free-kick which had resulted from some nervous Dundela defending. It looked like Linfield were going to run away with this.

If anybody knows that a 2-0 lead at half-time isn’t enough, it’s Linfield Swifts, having had to overcome a 2-0 deficit against Crumlin Star in their Semi-Final.

Making two substitutions at half-time, Dundela came out strong at the start of the second-half, hitting the bar, before one of those subs, Jamie Jackson reduced the deficit.

Dundela had possession but didn’t do much with it, Linfield Swifts didn’t look like conceding, before gradually getting back on top again.

Cameron Stewart thought he had made it 3-1, but his goalbound effort was blocked by a defender who got in the way.

There wasn’t long to wait for the clincher, as Adam McCallum made it 3-1 on 71 minutes, heading home from a corner.

Linfield looked more likely to get the next goal as the game neared it’s end, Stewart and Frazer going close.

Dundela knew they were beaten, as Linfield saw out the game to win 3-1 and collect the trophy.

If you believe in omens, the last time Linfield won the Steel and Sons Cup (against Dundela), they beat Crusaders in the County Antrim Shield Final.

In 2017, Christmas will be on a Monday. The last time that happened, in 2006, the Steel and Sons Cup Final was on Saturday 23rd December due to there being no top flight games that day.

A repeat in 2017 would be very convenient.

A few days ago, I blogged about my football watching wishes for 2017. I had a sudden flash of inspiration about something I forgot to include. Hear me out and don’t laugh, i’m being serious with this.

Both France and Italy take their version of the Charity Shield outside their respective countries. France’s version, Trophée des Champions, was held in Austria in front of a crowd of just over 10,000, while Italy’s version, Supercoppa Italiana was played in 12,000 capacity stadium in Qatar.

Must be worth somebody raising an enquiry about Windsor Park hosting one of these some year.

The first of two visits to Seaview this festive period has brought a Linfield win. Hopefully, there’ll be another to end the year next Saturday.

As it’s my last football blog before Christmas, may I take the opportunity to wish you a Merry Christmas. Except if you support Glentoran, have an awful one, and an even more awfuler (if that is a word) Boxing Day, a Christmas so awful, it lasts until 7th January.

Linfield’s youth have ended the year with a trophy, time for the seniors to step up and bring a few home in 2017.

Photo Album

2014 Steel and Sons Cup Final

2016 IN PICTURES – AUGUST

August began for me with a trip to Fermanagh to see Linfield take on Ballinamallard United in the opening game of the Irish League season.

The following day, I ventured to Cupar Way to check out the Peace Wall in Belfast, something I do every six months to have a look at the Street Art.

After that, came a triple whammy if Irish League matches, taking in Linfield’s games against Coleraine, Crusaders and Glenavon.

That was then followed by a triple whammy of concerts – Madness and Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds at Belsonic, then Red Hot Chili Peppers at Vital.

The month ended with a trip to Windsor Park to see Linfield take on Dungannon Swifts.

Ballinamallard United v Linfield

Belfast Peace Wall

Belfast Peace Wall Photo Album

Linfield v Coleraine

Crusaders v Linfield

Linfield v Glenavon

Madness live at Titanic Belfast

Madness live at Titanic Belfast Photo Album

Catfish and the Bottlemen Photo Album

Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds live at Titanic Belfast

Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds live at Titanic Belfast Photo Album

Red Hot Chili Peppers live at Boucher Road Playing Fields

Red Hot Chili Peppers live at Boucher Road Playing Fields Photo Album

Linfield v Dungannon Swifts

2016 IN PICTURES – APRIL

April 2016 began for me at The Odyssey to see Muse in concert.

The following Saturday, I headed for Seaview to see Linfield lose to Crusaders, a match that killed off their title hopes.

Another concert soon followed, this time it was to see Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott at Ulster Hall.

Back to football, and a double whammy of convincing Linfield wins, over Coleraine and Glentoran.

The match against Coleraine allowed me to check out the facilities in the South Stand for the first time since it was officially opened.

Towards the end of the month, Prince died, and Belfast wasn’t slow in paying tribute, a mural appearing within a day of his death.

I then headed to Windsor Park to see Linfield take on Cliftonville.

Around that time, I purchased a new camera as my camera was broken beyond repair. I was still getting used to it, so that’s why some photos towards the end of the month are a bit different.

Muse live at The Odyssey

Muse live at The Odyssey Photo Album

Crusaders v Linfield

Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott live at Ulster Hall

Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott live at Ulster Hall Photo Album

Linfield v Coleraine

Glentoran v Linfield

Purple Rain

Purple Rain Photo Album

Linfield v Cliftonville

PHOTO DIARY OF A FOOTBALL SEASON – APRIL

April’s football watching began at Seaview, seeing Linfield lose to Crusaders in a game that ultimately killed off their title ambitions.

The following week, I headed to Windsor Park to see Linfield take on Coleraine, the first game that Linfield fans would be using the South Stand.

The month ended with two more Linfield games, both 4-0 wins against Glentoran and Cliftonville.

Crusaders v Linfield

Linfield v Coleraine

Glentoran v Linfield

Linfield v Cliftonville

PHOTO DIARY OF A FOOTBALL SEASON – SEPTEMBER

My football watching for September began in sunny Fermanagh, watching Linfield get a 1-0 win away to Ballinamallard, to keep up their 100% start to the season.

Two days later, it was Windsor Park to see if Northern Ireland could get the win they needed to reach Euro 2016. They didn’t get it, but a late 1-1 draw sent the crowd home more than happy.

The following Saturday, I went to Seaview to see Linfield lose their 100% start to the season with a 3-0 defeat.

Thankfully, Linfield were able to return to winning ways over the next two Saturdays, getting wins against Warrenpoint Town and Glenavon at home over the following two Saturdays.

Ballinamallard United v Linfield

Northern Ireland v Hungary

Northern Ireland v Hungary Photo Album

Crusaders v Linfield

Linfield v Warrenpoint Town

Linfield v Glenavon

CRUSADERS 2-0 LINFIELD 9.4.2016

After a win over Lurgan Celtic last week ensured that Linfield’s season will end with a Cup Final against Glenavon, Linfield arrived at Seaview today hoping to get a win that could see them ending the season with two Cup Finals against Glenavon, one literal and one metaphorical.

Linfield went in to the game minus Aaron Burns, who was suspended. His place went to Ross Gaynor, who missed last week’s game through injury.

Each side had a half chance in the early stages, Declan Caddell heading wide from a cross, while Andrew Waterworth’s snapshot from the edge of the penalty area went wide.

Linfield weren’t really seen as an attacking force in the first-half. Despite that, Crusaders couldn’t make the most of their possession.

Jordan Owens had their best moments, firing wide twice after getting brief space in the penalty area. On both occasions, he should have done better.

In truth, Linfield’s defending in the first-half was shepherding the ball out and catching crosses

It was a poor first-half from Linfield, most of it untidy, falling into the trap of hoofing it long, playing Crusaders game.

It had echoed the first-half of the Irish Cup tie at Solitde a few weeks back. Linfield were more than happy to be going in at half-time 0-0, and try to improve in the second-half.

On 58 minutes, Linfield had the first major attacking moment in the game when Stephen Lowry was able to run into space in the penalty area, a sent the ball goalwards, only to see a touch from Sean O’Neill knock the ball onto the post.

Linfield fans in all four corners of Seaview thought the ball was going in.

Lowry had Linfield’s next attempt at goal, dragging a shot wide from the edge of the box.

In the aftermath of Lowry’s first chance, Linfield began to have a lot of pressure on Crusaders goal. They didn’t help themselves with poor delivery from set pieces when the opportunities were presented to them.

Crusaders were worried, and resorted to timewasting at any any opportunity, as well as unpuniched follow-through fouls when the ball was being shepherded out of play.

Their best moment of the second-half came when Gavin Whyte found some space but fired the shot wide.

Linfield had to win and went for it, with a trio of attacking substitutions – Guy Bates for Kirk Millaw, Michael McLellan for Matthew Clarke and Stephen Fallon for Paul Smyth.

They almost took a lead from a set piece, but it was a Crusaders player who knocked the ball goalwards.

It looked set to be a frustrating 0-0 draw, until Crusaders got the lead when Gavin Whyte knocked the ball home after a hoof upfield. The typical Crusaders goal. The only team trying to win the game was now behind.

There was still time for Linfield to salvage something from the game, a point was better than nothing.

In injury time, Linfield got a corner, with everybody up for it. It was cleared and Crusaders counter-attacked. Ross Glendinning was hesitant in getting back on his line, unsure wether to go back or be part of the attack in case Linfield won the ball back. It proved to be a fatal decision as it gave Jordan Forsythe enough space to make it 2-0.

The goal won the game, and almost certainly the title. Eight points over four games will be too much for Linfield to overtake.

It’s important for Linfield not to feel sorry for themselves, and get the points on the board to secure a second place finish (currently seven points clear of third) and avoid the farce of the UEFA Cup Play-Offs, as well as building up some momentum ahead of the Irish Cup Final, especially as Glenavon have failed to win any of their two games since reaching the final.

If Crusaders are to win the league, make them win it, unlike the last two years, when Cliftonville and Crusaders won the league on matchdays when Linfield lost.

A poor November 2015 killed off Linfield’s chances of winning the league this season, not today’s result. It was a run of 12 wins from 15 games afterwards that gave them hope going into today’s game.

Based on the performances on this run, and continuing this momentum in the final games and the Irish Cup Final, there’s no reason why Linfield can’t be champions in 2017.

Photo Album

STATISTICAL ANALYSIS OF A FOOTBALL YEAR : 2015

My football watching for 2015 is now over, so, it’s time for a statistical look back at the football I watched.

Games : 54

Goals Seen : 143

Red Cards : 10 (Doesn’t include Caoimhin Bonner being sent-off in the tunnel after the game)

Missed/Saved Penalties : 6

Hat-Tricks : 2 (Andrew Waterworth, Linfield v Dungannon Swifts. Andrew Waterworth, Linfield v Warrenpoint Town)

Teams Seen : 40

Arsenal, Ballinamallard United, Ballymena United, Bray Wanderers, Carrick Rangers, CE Europa (1st time), Cliftonville, Coleraine, Crusaders, Dundee (1st time), Dunfermline Athletic (1st time), Dungannon Swifts, Espanyol (1st time), Finland, Glenavon, Glentoran, Greece (1st time), Heart of Midlothian, Hibernian, Hungary, Institute, Latvia (1st time), Linfield, Manchester United, Masnau, Northern Ireland, NSI Runavik (1st time), Partick Thistle (1st time), Portadown, PSNI, PSV Eindhoven (1st time), Qatar (1st time), Rangers, Romania (1st time) Scotland, Sligo Rovers, Spartak Trnava (1st time), Tobermore United, Valencia (1st time), Warrenpoint Town

Stadiums Visited : 23

Ballymena Showgrounds, Carlisle Grounds, Drumahoe, East End Park (1st time), Estadi Cornella y Prat (1st time), Ferney Park, Fortwilliam Park (1st time), Gresty Road (1st time), Hampden Park, Ibrox, Milltown, Mourneview Park, Newforge (1st time), Nou Sardenya (1st time), Old Trafford, Seaview, Shamrock Park, Solitude, Stangmore Park, Taylor’s Avenue (1st time), The Oval, Tynecastle, Windsor Park

Competitions : 13

European Championship, European Cup, FA Premier League, Irish Cup, Irish League, Irish League Championship, La Liga, League of Ireland, Scottish Championship, Scottish League Cup (1st time), Scottish Premier League, Tercera Division (1st time), UEFA Cup

Curiousities :

No real curiousities, other than a match with kick-off delayed for an hour due to the weather

UEFA 102 Club : Espanyol, PSV Eindhoven, Valencia (now at 35 clubs)