Pistol Peter Thompson shoots down Glentoran
Thommo's injury time winner blasts Blues into shield semi
David Jeffrey revealed how a half-time dressing room dressing down inspired a stunning Co. Antrim Shield win over Glentoran.
Linfield were outplayed and outfought for 45 minutes, but a dramatic finish ensured the Big Two bragging rights for the Windsor Park side.
Then Daryl Fordyce put the Blues in front with three minutes to go it seemed the Glens were down and out, but Jimmy Callacher headed an equaliser in the first minute of injury-time.
The Glens celebrations had barely settled down when Jeffrey's men produced a stunning climax, with ‘Pistol’ Peter Thompson bravely heading Jim Ervin's cross past Elliott Morris to send the Bluemen wild, and the home fans into a state of shock.
“Glentoran were getting crosses in left, right and centre; we couldn't have passed the salt and pepper,” said Jeffrey.
“The players were told clearly at the break what was wrong and they responded. I was calm a few weeks ago when it happened, but the raw emotion of being a Blueman in a Big Two derby came out and we responded.
“Peter showed immense bravery to get the winner when he could have been clattered.
“We haven't won the County Antrim Shield since 2006 and make no bones about it, we want to win it this season.”
Andy Waterworth's pace and movement has caused major problems all season for opposing defences and he was dragging Albert Watson all over the pitch.
It wasn't until the 22nd minute that the visitors posed any sort of attacking threat.
Billy Joe Burns found skipper Michael Gault lurking, alone on the edge of the penalty area and his vicious strike warmed the palms of Glens keeper, Elliott Morris.
Two minutes later, the Blues stunned the home crowd into silence. Jamie Mulgrew produced a pin-point cross from the right which Brian McCaul reacted to first to side-footed his fourth goal of the season to give the Blues an undeserved lead.
While the Glens side from last season may have wilted, Eddie Patterson's men are made of stern stuff this year and they got back on level terms on 34 minutes.
As a Blues attack broke down, Waterworth released Jason Hill who cut through the visitors' midfield before releasing skipper Sean Ward. He took his time before playing the ball across the face of goal for Jim O'Hanlon to slide the ball home.
Both sides traded half chances throughout the second-half, then, for the second time in the game, the Blues took the lead against the run of play with eight minutes remaining.
Fordyce was in the right place at the right time to slide the ball into the empty net after Morris had denied Thompson.
Patterson introduced Stuart Elliott, Martin Murray and John McGuigan and in the first minute of injury-time and it paid off as Callacher flicked his head at David Howland's free-kick to level.
There was a final sting in the tail as Thompson headed the winner for Linfield a minute later.
Glentoran: Morris, Kane (Elliott 87), Clarke, Magee, Ward, Howland, Waterworth, Hill (Murray 87), McAlorum (McGuigan 87), Callacher, O’Hanlon. Subs not used: Nixon, Hogg.
Linfield: Blayney, Gault (Garrett 87), Murphy, Thompson, Burns, Fordyce, Ervin, Mulgrew, Watson, McCaul (Carvill 69), Quinn. Subs not used: Armstrong, Henderson, Browne.
Referee: Raymond Crangle (Belfast).