Belfast Telegraph

We're Glentoran so we'll keep on attacking other teams, says Haveron

Linfield 1 Glentoran 0

By Graham Luney

Linfield left Windsor Park on Saturday with three points - and they are likely to be three massive points in the title race - but Glentoran didn't go home with nothing.

Arguably, we learned more about the Glens than we did the champions after this feisty and fiercely contested encounter.

The Blues dug deep to win this one but we always knew they had the steel and resilience to get the better of a hungry opponent.

And as lively and energetic as Robbie McDaid and Curtis Allen were, they couldn't outsmart Roy Carroll - but they are not alone in that failing.

The Glens, however, should be heartened by their performance, a showing that will inject more confidence into a new team and while no one expected Gary Haveron's side to run out comfortable winners at Windsor, they now know they can compete with the best.

"We have come into these games set up more defensively but we had three strikers on the park here and we kept them on for 90 minutes, said Glens boss Gary Haveron.

"We wanted to have a go, we didn't want to see out a game 0-0 or hang on for a point. That is the mentality of the players now, we are Glentoran, we will give it a go now we have the personnel. We have the energy and boys who are willing to do the work. A lack of concentration in the first five minutes defined the game.

"But our mentality is different. We have players who have come back from full-time football with the attitude 'I will show you I deserve the opportunity'. The guys want to go again and there's some talent in this team."

Linfield led at the break through Aaron Burns' stunning header but it was only the brilliance of Carroll that prevented Glentoran inflicting damage.

The Blues made a storming start, Burns providing the bullet header from Jordan Stewart's teasing cross in the fifth minute.

It was the perfect way for former Glentoran ace Stewart to silence the visiting fans but the away support saw a spirited response from their side.

In the 11th minute an equaliser looked certain but Carroll conjured up an incredible double save to foil McDaid and then Allen who will be disappointed he didn't produce a killer touch.

Glens keeper Elliott Morris held a Burns shot and then Carroll clawed the ball off the line after Mark Stafford's header rebounded off the back of McDaid.

Linfield felt they should have had a penalty when Marcus Kane handled the ball in the box but referee Arnold Hunter ignored the appeals.

On 37 minutes Carroll dived to his side's rescue again to clear the danger as John McGuigan aimed to force the ball home. The Glens continued to play with confidence in the second half and Carroll was called into action again, tipping over James Knowles' inswinging free kick.

It wasn't pretty from the home side but they did enough to earn a huge three points.

That's five wins out for five for Linfield and they have yet to concede a goal in the Premiership. That record will be tested again at the home of Crusaders tomorrow night but Blues boss David Healy will savour this victory for a while.

"I love the fact Glentoran haven't beaten us in a while," said Healy. "I don't think in the second half Roy (Carroll) had too much to do. It's always nice whether you win by a few goals or win ugly. I wouldn't call this ugly because I thought the effort from our players was immense. We have had a tough trip to Scotland, we have been in earlier than other teams and played more games."

There was one negative footnote for the hosts after a flare was tossed onto the pitch after Burns' goal, damaging the playing surface.

Linfield: Carroll, Casement, Haughey, Stafford, M Clarke, Quinn, Millar (R Clarke, 84 mins), Mulgrew, Lowry, Mitchell (Garrett, 78 mins), J Stewart (Rooney, 65 mins), Burns. Unused subs: Robinson, Adams.

Glentoran: Morris, Kane, Birney, Addis, Redman, Knowles (Delaney, 73 mins), McGuigan, Kerr (McNicholl, 87 mins), McMullan (Gordon, 62 mins), McDaid, Allen. Unused subs: Kelly, Ferrin.

Ref: Arnold Hunter (Maguiresbridge)

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