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World Cup 2018

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Wing wizards can inspire Blues to greatness: Healy

Ballinamallard United 0-6 Linfield

By Gareth Cauldwell

Linfield boss David Healy has challenged wing wonders Jordan Stewart and Kirk Millar to build on their impressive performances against Ballinamallard United.

The pair tortured the Mallards defence throughout the encounter as the Blues returned to winning ways in style, hitting the Fermanagh side for six despite playing the entire second half with 10 men.

The champions, who sit fourth in the table, showed their intent from the start as they went in at the break with a three goal advantage thanks to efforts from Mark Haughey, Millar and Andy Waterworth.

And they made light of the dismissal of Josh Robinson who was red carded by referee Ian McNabb after an altercation in the back of the Mallards net following Linfield's third goal as they added another three after the interval. Haughey and Waterworth both netted their second of the game while Stewart also got on the scoresheet with Millar providing the assist for all three second half goals.

"The two of them were very good," said Healy on the performances of Stewart and Millar. "They are two of the most talented players in the league and when they are bang at as they were today, with Jordan on the left and Kirk on the right, they are hard to deal with. We are fortunate to have them and I want them to keep on improving week in, week out and make it really hard for me to leave them out of the team," he stated.

The Blues boss though says that the key now is pushing on from this display with an away trip to Ballymena in the league next Friday and a League Cup clash against Crusaders on the horizon.

"Today was pleasing but it is about how we kick on again for the next week leading into the Ballymena game.

"We have big games coming up against Ballymena in the league and Crusaders in the League Cup and they are the type of games that the players should relish" he added.

Mallards counterpart Gavin Dykes felt his side paid the price for the effort that they put in over the last week in tough away games against Crusaders and league leaders Coleraine.

"From our point of view, we were leggy and we had too many bodies who were simply not able to compete. We were well beaten and that was with Linfield with 10 men so I have no complaints," he stated.

BALLINAMALLARD: Brush, McConnell (Burns, 62 mins), Smyth, McLaughlin, McCartney, Armstrong, R Clarke (Brennan, 62 mins), Leddy, McKenna, McGinty, McIlwaine (Martyn, 73 mins). Unused subs: McCann, Owens.

LINFIELD: Carroll, Casement, Robinson, Haughey, M Clarke, Millar, Mulgrew (Lowry, 58 mins), Garrett, J Stewart (Adams, 75 mins), Waterworth, Rooney (Mitchell, 46 mins). Unused subs: Quinn, Burns.

Man of the match: Kirk Millar

Match rating: 7/10

Referee: Ian McNabb (Newtownabbey)

Belfast Telegraph

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