Pistol Pete guns down Glentoran
Linfield 1 Glentoran 0
Published 04/04/2013 | 07:59
Linfield manager David Jeffrey hailed ace predator Peter Thompson after he plundered the winning goal against Big Two rivals Glentoran at Windsor Park.
Thompson's goal after just four minutes was only his eighth goal of the season, but it was good enough to preserve his team's unbeaten run against Eddie Patterson's side this season.
"I'm delighted for Peter," beamed Jeffrey.
"There have been questions asked about Peter lately in terms of his fitness and health – people were raising doubts about him.
"Lots of things have been said, but he got the goal that beat Glentoran and he showed all his goal scoring instincts very early in the game.
"He probably would have liked to have had a better match in terms of performance, but strikers are all about scoring goals and he won us the game."
Thompson got the Blues off to a dream start with that early opener. Ross Clarke's deep cross was met by the diving Matthew Tipton, his header was flicked onto the bar by Elliott Morris and former international Thompson pounced to nudge home the rebound.
Glentoran had almost sneaked into the lead only seconds before Thompson's breakthrough. Stephen Carson's free kick was met by Marcus Kane at the back post, but his effort was saved at the base of the post by Ross Glendinning.
Andy Waterworth's pace exposed the Blues defence on seven minutes. He left Billy Joe Burns trailing in his wake before his raking low drive was beaten away by the legs of Glendinning.
And the teenager produced another memorable moment on 13 minutes, when he brilliantly pawed away a viciously struck 20 yard Carson free kick, awarded after Michael Carvill had recklessly hauled down Richard Clarke.
Glendinning again rescued the Blues following a David Armstrong howler. The defender completely mis-kicked an attempted clearance, leaving Waterworth with a free run on goal, but again the alert shot stopper got down bravely to block.
Linfield midfielder Jamie Mulgrew was sent tumbling just outside the box on 27 minutes by Kevin Bradley and with Morris still organising his defence, quick thinking Carvill sent in a low drive that was hoofed off the line by Jim O'Hanlon.
The visitors were holding their heads in frustration again 10 minutes before the break when Richard Clarke blasted a wonderful opportunity shamefully over the crossbar following an exhilarating right wing dash from O'Hanlon.
Armstrong was then embarrassed by the pace of Waterworth who pounced on Clarke's precise through ball, but Glendinning did well to save.
Seconds later another horrible blunder from Armstrong fell invitingly for Carson, who gobbled up an outrageously short back pass only to see his shot drift wide of an open goal.
Jeffrey decided to alter things at the break, reeling in the struggling Armstrong and Clarke, with Stephen Douglas and Nathan Hanley taking over.
It was the Glens who almost equalised on 55 minutes when Ross Glendinning had his little brother, Reece, to thank after the 17-year-old knocked Jimmy Callacher's looping header off the line.
Carson then whipped in a 35 yard free kick that flashed inches past the post and Callacher thought he had equalised on 70 minutes when he headed home a Carson corner, but referee David Malcolm disallowed the effort, having spotted a foul on goalkeeper Glendinning.
The Blues almost grabbed a killer second 11 minutes from the finish with Philip Lowry volleying a Thompson pass just past the post.
Linfield: Ross Glendinning, Armstrong (Douglas 46), Lowry, Thompson, Carvill, Burns, Reece Glendinning, Tipton (McMenamin 86), Ervin, Mulgrew, Clarke (Hanley 46). Subs: Browne, Garrett.
Glentoran: Morris, Bradley, Kane, Magee, Callacher, Howland, McAlorum (Hill 46), Waterworth, O'Hanlon (Murray 78), Carson (Ward 80). Subs: Nixon, McComb.
Referee: Mark Courtney (Dungannon).