Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 27 December 2014

Morgan Day still haunts Murphy

As the countdown continues to the potential title decider at Windsor Park on Saturday, William Murphy has reminded Glentoran he is still haunted by the heartbreaking memories of 'Morgan Day'.

Three years ago, on April 23, a Chris Morgan goal in injury time ultimately brought the Gibson Cup to the Oval.

For anyone who donned a Linfield jersey that fateful day, the nightmares have refused to go away.

The ghost is still to be exorcised but all that might change on Saturday.

The Blues' trophy cabinet has not had a bare look to it over the years but the proud winners at the south-Belfast club never forget the one that got away in 2005.

And there is a fierce determination not to see history repeat itself three years later.

Murphy said: "You never forget experiences like that - Morgan Day still hurts me personally.

"When something like that happens it sticks with you forever. I will never forget how I felt that day and I never want to experience it again.

"There was a lot of trouble after the game on the pitch but I wasn't aware of anything that happened. Everything just went over my head because the disappointment of losing the game was so great.

"Football can be very cruel and Chris's goal is recorded in my mind forever.

"When you win a game you celebrate as a team and when you lose you feel the pain collectively and that was a hammer blow to all of us. But we have used that painful experience to raise the bar and we went on to do the double, double. Linfield Football Club is all about winning, winning every game, winning league titles. We are so close to the finishing line and we just have to see the job through."

While Cliftonville have faded in the title run-in, Glentoran have stepped through the gears and the Setanta Cup defeat to the Blues on Monday now means nothing to both sides. This is a different game with two very different teams and the visitors know they have to win to stay in the title hunt.

Murphy, one of manager David Jeffrey's "elder statesmen", is chasing his sixth championship medal and he is taking nothing for granted.

"You just never know how long you are going to be playing for Linfield and every trophy win is sweet," added the 34-year-old.

"You look at players like Glenn (Ferguson) who is 43 and Noel (Bailie) who is 42!

"They, like myself, have experienced the agony and the ecstasy and the more trophies you win the hungrier you get. The atmosphere will be electric on Saturday and I just hope we can win the game to move us closer to securing another title. Big Two games are always special, but this one is extra special."

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