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Linfield 4-0 Ballinamallard United: Andy Waterworth delighted to be back among the goals

By David Mason

Striker Andy Waterworth believes he is ready to start climbing the goal charts.

The 30-year-old ended his drought against Ballinamallard United at Windsor Park on Saturday and insisted there are more to come.

It was only his third strike of the season - and first in the league - but his smile said it all. Waterworth required merely six minutes to get the Blues back on track following their horrible League Cup result at Ballymena in midweek.

Former Northern Ireland midfielder Sammy Clingan then bagged his first goal since moving to Windsor Park over the summer before big defender Mark Haughey and little Paul Smyth completed the job.

Waterworth admitted he enjoyed the moment. "It was a good finish... I was delighted with it," he said. "I always knew it would come, although it was still a relief to see the ball hit the net.

"It was a brilliant ball in from Niall. That's the sort of ball I thrive on. I know I get criticised for being offside quite a lot, but I like to play on the edge.

"Although I hadn't been scoring, my game hadn't changed, although strikers are always judged on goals.

"I still worked as hard for the team and, apart form a game against Coleraine earlier this season, I've been happy enough with my form. I love scoring goals, but it doesn't always happen."

Waterworth insisted is was important to get the Ballymena result out of the system, adding: "I wasn't involved in the midweek game. I picked up a little bit of concussion after the match (against Queen of the South) in Scotland on Sunday, so I was ruled out.

"The boys were all gutted at training on Thursday and I sensed that. I knew we would get a reaction. From what I hear, Ballymena were outstanding and fully deserved their win."

Ironically, Ballymena handed Linfield a massive favour on Saturday by defeating Crusaders, which means David Healy's boys can go top of the table should they win at Cliftonville tomorrow night.

"We are not surprised that Ballymena have improved. They have a great manager in David Jeffrey," added Waterworth. "It's a big club and their emergence will certainly make the league more interesting."

Linfield: Carroll Clingan, Haughey, Callacher, Waterworth (Burns, 75 mins), M Clarke, Casement (Ward, 70 mins), Mulgrew, Quinn, R Clarke (Millar, 63 mins), Smyth. Unused subs: Bright, Carson.

Ballinamallard: McGrath, McMenamin, Tahney, McGinty, McKenna (Armstrong, 46 mins), Lafferty, McConnel, Lecky (McIlwaine, 67 mins), Mayse, Frempong, Elliott (Owens, 19 mins). Unused subs: McCluskey, Feeney.

Referee: Malcolm Spiteri (Malta)

Man of the match: Niall Quinn

Match rating: 7/10

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