Saturday, 5 October 2013

Glenavon 1-3 Linfield

Linfield moved top of the league on goal difference with a comfortable 3-1 win over Glenavon at Mourneview.

Seeking six wins on the spin, the Blues fell behind midway through the first half through a Guy Bates header, but the deficit did not reflect their dominance of the game.

Before the break, Carville slotted home the equaliser, followed by two goals in two second-half minutes from a Waterworth penalty and a Lowry header.

A big talking point of Linfield’s trip to Glenavon was William Murphy being named as captain against his former club.

Murphy and the rest of the Glenavon defence were busy in the first half as Linfield set up camp in the Lurgan Blues’ half.

Andy Waterworth had a rebound effort disallowed for offside in the eighth minute.

Murphy made his presence felt with a tackle on Peter Thompson which caused a fracas between the two captains as Michael Gault squared up to him, leaving David Jeffrey an unhappy man on the sidelines as he loudly appealed for action from the referee.

After 18 minutes, Michael Carville had long-range effort well tipped over by keeper John Connolly as Linfield began to exert some pressure. Soon after, Waterworth pulled a shot wide when in a good position after being put off by Glenavon’s defensive attentions.

Against the run of play however, Glenavon took the lead, with a fantastic looping Guy Bates header from an Andy McGrory right-wing cross in the 22nd minute.

Linfield merely came back stronger though, not to be denied a say in proceedings. A Peter Thompson effort was quickly blocked by Murphy to keep the Glenavon lead intact.

If Linfield were feeling the frustration, it was beginning to show, as captain Gault was perhaps lucky to get away with just a yellow card following a feisty challenge on Ciaran Martyn.

Andy Mcgrory almost got on the scoresheet himself after his earlier assist, with a cross-come-shot which nearly left Jonathan Tuffey stranded in the Linfield goals.

Linfield got the equaliser their play deserved when Waterworth got down the right-hand side, and cut a good ball across for Thompson to shoot. His shot was blocked but Carville was there to tap in.

Two minutes into the second half, Jamie Mulgrew was well through before a Martyn tackle stopped him in his tracks.

In the 50th minute, a more illegal challenge was rightly punished Linfield were awarded a penalty after Gault was brought down by Gareth McKeown in the box. Waterworth slotted home the resulting spot kick as the away side took the lead.

David Jeffrey had clearly asked his side to just carry on as they had been before the break, and a minute later the lead was extended as Lowry headed home a pinpoint Mulgrew cross.

In the 63rd minute, Lowry had a further sight of goal but his shot screwed well wide as Linfield pressed to extend their lead.

Gary Hamilton rolled the dice in the 64th minute with a double change, bringing himself on for David Rainey, and Kyle Neill on for Mark Patton.

Glenavon began to up the tempo after the changes, but Linfield remained dangerous on the counter attack.

Waterworth made a good burst down the right hand side in the 69th minute but had his shot well tipped wide by Connolly in the Glenavon goal.

Jamie Mulgrew was taken off for Aaron Burns in the 83rd minute as Linfield looked to rest the midfield man before the clash with the Glens on Tuesday.

The home fans began to stream for the exits as Glenavon failed to put the Linfield goal under any sustained pressure, although near the end, Bates dribbled his way down the right hand side, forcing a good save from Tuffey on his far post.

Linfield nearly got a fourth in stoppage time as Carville rattled the crossbar with a fine effort.
In the end it was a professional performance from Linfield as they took advantage of Portadown’s draw with Warrenpoint Town to top the table for the first time in two seasons.

Glenavon - Connelly, Murphy (c), Kilmartin, Bates, Rainey (sub Hamilton 64), Patton (sub Neill 64), McGrory, Marshall, McKeown, Martyn (sub Farren 78), Singleton.

Goals – Bates (22)

Subs not used – McCallion, Lyndsay.

Linfield - Tuffey, Mcvey, Gault (c), Waterworth, Lowry, Thompson, Carville, B.J. Burns, Ward, Mulgrew (sub A. Burns 83), Quinn.

Goals – Carville (39), Waterworth (pen, 50), Lowry (51)
Subs not used – Knowles, Tipton, Ervin, McCaul.

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