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Danske Bank Premiership

Ards 0 Linfield 2


A couple of first half goals from Jimmy Callagher helped Linfield to their third win of the season over Ards, as our long wait for a win against the Blues continued.

In previous meetings this season we had been simply blown away by dominant Linfield performances, but there was more of an air of respectability about this result, even if it extended our run of home games without a win to five matches.

Callagher’s first goal came just 17 minutes into the game from a Ross Gaynor corner on the right. His ball to the back post found Callagher’s head and the defender put the ball home, despite stand in goalkeeper Liam McAuley getting a firm hand to it.

On 24 minutes Ards responded when a touch of fortune put Joe McKinney in on goal. Defender Mark Stafford lost his footing as he attempted to deal with a long punt out of the Ards half and McKinney raced through before chipping a shot just over the top of Gareth Deane’s goal.

Andrew Waterworth scored twice against Ards in the recent 6-1 County Antrim Shield defeat and he came close to notching another against his former club with half an hour played but his shot rose up over the crossbar. Linfield did look to have made it 2-0 on 43 minutes but Callagher’s finish was ruled out by the referee for a foul during the build-up.

Callagher didn’t have to wait long to put that right however as he poked in his second of the day just a minute later. From Kirk Millar’s free kick, Mark Haughey knocked the ball back into the six yard box and Callagher forced his way in front of a couple of defenders to strike home.

On the other side of half-time, it was Ards who were first on the attack with an effort from Johnny Taylor forcing Deane into a block on 50 minutes. Following that it took a while for things to get going, with another quarter of an hour gone before Waterworth broke through the Ards lines only to strike his shot high and wide.

Chances fell not long after for Linfield’s Chris Casement and Kirk Millar but both failed to find the net. In a second forty-five devoid of much penalty box action it wasn’t until the 84th minute when another goal looked on as Waterworth bullied his way into the Ards box only to bury the shot in the side netting.

Those first half goals proved to be enough for Linfield to claim the points as Ards drew a blank in front of caretaker boss John Bailie.

26th November 2016


1 Liam McAuley, 2 Greg Hall, 5 Johnny Taylor, 25 Emmet Friars (capt.), 3 Michael Ruddy, 6 David McCullough, 20 Kyle Cherry, 7 Craig McMillen (capt.), 8 Ross Arthurs, 11 David McAllister, 10 Joe McKinney


4 Stuart McMullan, 9 Gary Liggett, 14 Fra Brennan (for Cherry 69), 16 Gareth Tommons (for McMillen 63), 17 Carl McComb (for McCullough 82)


Steven Taylor


Cherry (7), McCullough (44), McMillen (48)




Match highlights (BBC Sport NI)

Picture: Andrew McCullough