Belfast Telegraph

Linfield must fight on, insists Waterworth

Glenavon 1 - Linfield 0

By Ian Callender

Andy Waterworth is determined to help Linfield finish the season on a high after Glenavon all but ended their hopes of winning the Premiership title.

The Blues striker admitted they will not regain the top prize in local football even before they face league leaders Crusaders at Windsor Park on Saturday, nine points behind with just five games remaining.

"It's a bitter pill to swallow but we have to hold our hands up. We failed and just didn't get there. Credit to Crusaders, they deserve to be there and are the best team in the league this year," said Waterworth.

"But we will take it on the chin, start again on Monday and build for next season.

"We still represent the best club in the country and everyone must show they want to be there next year.

"The performance (on Saturday) wasn't good enough but it wasn't for lack of effort.

"We just lacked a bit of quality in decision-making and a bit of luck but we can't feel sorry for ourselves, we have to go and rectify it and see the season out with some good performances," he added.

Eoin Bradley scored the only goal of the game at Mourneview Park, in the 15th minute, and while both teams created numerous chances in an entertaining encounter, wasteful finishing and heroic defending led to Glenavon shutting out Linfield for the second time this season; the last time the Blues failed to score was at Windsor Park in September, 30 matches ago.

Glenavon first team coach Nigel Law, overseeing a home win over Linfield for the first time (after a run of 10 games) was pleased to be involved in "a key moment in the title race" and insists his squad is "really going places".

Law added: "The season is probably going to end at a bad time for us in terms of our momentum but we want to push towards top four and this was a big step towards it."

Glenavon: McGrath; McGrory, Kelly, Lindsay, Marshall; Martyn, Singleton, Patton (Neill 90 mins); Braniff; Bradley, O'Brien (Caldwell h/t).

Linfield: Tuffey; M Clarke, Haughey, Ward, Quinn (Carvill 74 mins); R Clarke, Callacher, Lowry, Burns; Waterworth, Morrow (Brown 66 mins)

Referee: Raymond Hetherington (Dungannon).

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