Lisburn Distillery 0 Linfield 4
Linfield made light work off the wintry conditions and Lisburn Distillery at New Grosvenor to keep the gap at the top to five points.
Apart from a Gary Browne effort on 13 minutes, the home side never got going and they simply weren’t allowed to by a Linfield side that dominated possession, closed their opponents down and were more than comfortable winners at the end.
“I am very pleased when you consider Distillery have beaten Glentoran at The Oval, they have gone to Cliftonville and got a tremendous result.
“We were under no illusions that this was going to be a very tough, tough task but we set about the game very well” explained Linfield boss David Jeffery afterwards.
“The first twenty minutes was probably nip and tuck — we created one or two chances without really opening them up and were a little bit fortuitous in terms of the first goal.
“Mark (McAllister) hit a shot but Philip (Lowry) controlled it brilliantly and it was a fantastic finish.
“The message second-half was not to let Distillery into it so we kept possession, created chances; I thought Philip Matthews pulled two or three great saves off. Then I thought that we maybe needed to up it, Robert (Garrett) came on and scored a wonderful goal.
“He gave us that last kick in the last 15/20 minutes to kick on, a second-wind almost, and Peter (Thompson) finished it with a great goal.”
The performance from Linfield, in terms of a team performance, was as rounded and complete as they come.
“It is based on simple hard work” added Jeffrey.
“There is no star in the team, there is no ‘someone’ that we can’t do without. It’s about a squad and today they worked their socks off.
“They were all really solid and they deserve a great deal of credit.”
Lowry put Linfield ahead on 25 minutes, finishing off McAllister’s initial effort before McAllister set up Thompson for the second five minutes before the break.
The Whites had a couple of half chances after the break but it was Linfield who kept taking the game to the home side, imposing themselves in particular on the home midfield line.
Garrett scored the best goal of the game on 82 minutes with a low drive before Thompson put the icing on the cake with his second in injury-time.
It was another poor New Grosvenor performance and defeat for Whites boss Tommy Wright.
“We have been poor at home, that's seven goals at home in the last two games,” he said.
“If you don't compete all over the pitch with Linfield that is what happens but overall we weren’t good enough and can have no complaints with the result.
“The second goal killed us but, at the end of the day, we should have dealt with it.
“It was a pathetic goal to give away again even though there should have been a free-kick for us further up the pitch.
“We have turned into a good away side which is very disappointing.
“I feel for our back-four, we never made a tackle in midfield and we were got at far, far too easy.
“I think Phil Carson made one tackle and got booked for it and that maybe hindered him a bit — any of the rest of the midfield never made a single tackle so the back four found themselves overworked again.
“John Curran particularly doesn’t deserve to be on the end of a four nil hiding because he was outstanding — but we will brush ourselves down and try and move on next week.”