Linfield 2 Lisburn Distillery 0
Linfield continue to top the Carling Premiership table after returning to winning ways for the first time in four Premiership games with this victory over Lisburn Distillery.
Their first goal arrived on 25 minutes when William Murphy out-jumped Glenn Ferguson to head in Jamie Mulgrew’s corner.
It came at the right time for the champions who could well have been behind by that stage.
Ferguson, captaining the Whites on what appears to be his last appearance at his old Windsor Park stomping ground, had had a header cleared off the line but the star performer in the opening 20 minutes was Linfield keeper Alan Blayney.
Just days after not being named in the Northern Ireland Euro 2012 squad for the upcoming Serbia and Slovenia games, Blayney put his disappointment behind him to focus on Linfield’s title aspirations and he produced two cracking saves to deny Mark Cooling and Gary Liggett.
And afterwards manager David Jeffrey acknowledged those contributions.
“In the first-half he made a couple of interventions and, particularly on the back of not being in the international squad, I thought showed great resolve, great quality, great concentration” said Jeffrey.
“Sometimes people are very glib and say that is what he is there for — of course that is what he is there for, but to pull off the saves that he made and to get us through that little period of tenseness was why we needed him then. Second-half thankfully he was unemployed.”
The Whites lacked the same determination after the interval, Linfield posing the greater threat throughout and the goal that banked the points came on 73 minutes when Peter Thompson nipped in to slot home from close range after the impressive Mulgrew had forced his way into the box.
Jeffrey added: “There were parts of our game today that were very good but overall it was an intense affair.
“A clean sheet, two goals, three points — that’s why I am pleased.”
The result, though, was disappointing for Distillery boss Tommy Wright.
“At this stage of the season I would have taken a poor performance and three points — but it was an excellent performance.
“If we had come in two or three nil up I don’t think anyone would have had any complaints. We started extremely well and had caused Linfield a few problems — is it poor finishing or great goalkeeping?”