Belfast Telegraph

Linfield v Glentoran: Tunnel incident threatens to mar big occasion

Linfield chiefs are set to launch an investigation into an alleged incident in the tunnel at Windsor Park last night in which a member of the Glentoran party confronted Blues goal-scorer Peter Thompson.

The Belfast Telegraph understands the former Northern Ireland international was verbally abused on his way to the home dressing room after the Carling Premiership champions increased their lead at the top of the table to eight points over their bitter cross-town rivals.

Blues boss David Jeffrey confirmed there had been an unsavoury incident, but that the club would take its time before deciding whether to lodge an official complaint to the Irish FA.

He explained: “There was an incident in the tunnel area after the match and my players have confirmed that, but it wouldn’t be right to make a knee-jerk decision as to what happens next as far as a complaint goes.

“At this moment in time I don’t know what action — if any — will be taken by Linfield Football Club but I’m sure the incident will be discussed in the coming days.”

What Jeffrey definitely doesn’t want is any title talk from the Blues dressing room after their 2-1 Big Two derby victory over Glentoran. The Carling Premiership champions extended their lead at the top of the pile to eight points. Goals from Peter Thompson and Mark McAllister ensured a hard-fought victory but the home boss refused to toast a 50th title just yet.

“In years gone, maybe you could have said it was ours to lose but not this year,” said Jeffrey.

“Of course it is a very nice position to be in. People will say it’s ours to lose and the rest are only playing for second but that is nonsense. There certainly won’t be any talk like that in our dressing room because we know all too well how quickly things can change.” With both sides stuttering of late, Scott Young’s side would have fancied their chances coming to Windsor Park but it was the Blues who triumphed.

“We responded really well after the County Antrim Shield final defeat,” added Jeffrey.

“But it’s three points. There are still a lot of young players in this squad and with that comes enthusiasm.

“What we have to teach them is how to close out a game.”

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