Belfast Telegraph

Linfield boss David Healy hails Andy Waterworth but Blues victory is to no avail

By David Mason

On a night when the Danske Bank Premiership was won by city rivals Crusaders, Linfield boss David Healy hailed the performance of striker Andy Waterworth following his two-goal salvo in the 4-0 victory over Big Two rivals Glentoran at The Oval.

The 30-year-old bagged a first-half double which was supplemented by a late brace from substitute Aaron Burns.

"Andy's goals were sublime," purred former Northern Ireland striker Healy. "I never hear people talking about Andy as being a good player, but they can judge for themselves - he's now got 33 goals this season.

"The only little disappointment was the fact that he didn't go away with the match ball. He had a few chances in the second-half for a hat-trick, but it just didn't happen for him.

"I was thrilled with the performance of the entire side. It was a complete performance."

With the Crues retaining the league crown at Cliftonville despite Linfield's win, Healy's boys had to settle for second place.

He named his strongest team and they required a mere four minutes to forge ahead. Kirk Millar carved open the Glens defence with a piercing run before finding Waterworth, who took a touch before ramming a low drive under Elliot Morris

It should have been two in their next attack. Ross Gaynor made ground down the left before crossing for Paul Smyth, whose volley fizzed just wide.

After soaking up the early pressure, the home team at last threatened with David Scullion whipping in a cross for Curtis Allen to blaze high and wide.

Waterworth then struck on 32 minutes. He picked up a loose ball some 30 yards out and thundered in an unstoppable shot.

Linfield started the second-half as they ended the first with Gaynor flicking a pass to Niall Quinn - a replacement for Matthew Clarke, who came off worse after clashing heads with Jimmy Callacher - but he fired across the face of the goal.

Smyth embarrassed Jay Magee for pace and, after cutting inside, also shot wide. But the Blues were not finished. Burns was only on for three minutes after replacing Millar when he slotted home an easy chance following great work by Stephen Lowry and Mark Haughey.

And, five minutes from time, Burns struck again, heading home a Quinn cross.

Glentoran: Morris, Holland (Gibson 46), Kane, Magee, Gordon, Caldwell, Morrow, Smith, Scullion (Lavery 70), Allen, McCullough. Unused subs: Hogg, Patton, Nelson.

Linfield: Deane, Haughey, Callacher, Waterworth, Lowry, Millar (Burns 79), Ward, Clarke (Quinn 46), Mulgrew, Gaynor (McLellan 83), Smyth. Unused subs: Kee, Fallon.

Man of the Match: Andy Waterworth

Match rating: 7/10.

Referee: Tim Marshall (Irvinestown).





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