Last night saw Danske Bank Premiership leaders Linfield claim a dramatic last-minute victory over Newry City at the Showgrounds.
Linfield started the game with great momentum and just five minutes in Marek Cervenka put the ball in the net, but it was ruled offside. This spurred a counter attack by Newry, but Gareth Deane comfortably blocked a shot from Declan Carville.
Waterworth later broke through the Newry defence, cleverly moving past defender John Boyle but Boyle reacted quickly, denying Waterworth a shot on goal. Just after the thirty-minute mark Linfield had another couple of chances when Niall Quinn’s corner was headed on by Mark Stafford but hit the woodwork. This was followed by Ryan McGivern firing a close range shot over the bar.
Cervenka had another opportunity for the hosts which saw him edge past Newry defence, but this also went over the bar. It was a deadlock going into half time with Linfield quite frustrated all the efforts had been in vain.
Just three minutes into the second half, Linfield had their second goal of the game disallowed when Waterworth was ruled offside after heading the ball into the far corner of Newry’s goal.
Linfield continued to create chances, but a set piece was stopped by Newry’s keeper Andy Coleman, both Stafford and McGivern had chances, but both failed to find the back of the net.
Newry had a great chance to go one up when Carville was played through into a promising position, but Deane reacted cleverly to block Carville’s efforts.
In dying minutes of injury time, Linfield’s Casement managed to nod a Quinn cross into the net to claim victory for the Blues.
Linfield manager David Healy was jubilant post-match but gave great credit to Darren Mullen’s side telling the media “We were made to work very hard tonight, as we expected,” he said.
“Credit to my players for pushing on right to the end. They weren’t satisfied with a 0-0 draw and they battled for the win.
“I thought we were miles off what we can be in terms of tempo, energy and quality.
“But I take a lot of satisfaction out of winning so late in the game. We did something similar against Coleraine three weeks ago, and that says a lot about the hunger of the players.”
Linfield’s win means they keep their nine-point lead over Ballymena United in the Premiership.
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