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County Antrim Shield: TJ Murray hits the winner to get Linfield off mark against Newington


Linfield boss Warren Feeney

Linfield boss Warren Feeney

©William Cherry / Presseye

Linfield boss Warren Feeney

Linfield booked their place in the last eight of the County Antrim Shield, but this was hardly a performance to bring the Windsor Park faithful to their feet.

Warren Feeney fielded a much changed side with Gareth Deane, Seanan Foster, TJ Murray, Adam Salley, Danny Wallace and Dale Patton getting starts. At times it looked as if the plan might backfire with Newington enjoying a handful of half-chances, but a 60th-minute goal from Murray gave the Blues a 1-0 win.

Newington's Sean McAuley tried his luck in the 11th minute from 20 yards, forcing goalkeeper Gareth Deane into a parried save. The Linfield defence quickly cleared the danger before Joe Todd could pounce.

Linfield had the first worthwhile chance in the 38th minute when David Kee split the Newington defence with a lofted pass that Niall Quinn latched onto, but his effort went well over.

Todd gave Linfield a fright seven minutes into the second-half. The former Glenavon man found space inside the area before sending the ball wide.

Just when it looked like Newington might spring a major surprise, Linfield hit. Quinn sent over a superb cross, which was nodded home at the back post by the alert Murray.

Newington pushed for an equaliser, with former Cliftonville defender Sean Adams forcing Deane into a save, but Linfield kept things under control.

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Linfield: Deane; Foster (Reece Glendinning 49), Hegarty, Callacher, Wallace; Sproule, Murray, Kee, Quinn; Patton (Waterworth 78), Salley (Smyth 84). Subs Not Used: Ross Glendinning, Devine

Newington: Smyth; McFall, Pearse, O'Kane, Brennan (Adams 39); Dempsey; Burns, Dempsey, Brannigan, Scollay (White 70); Todd (Rafferty 70). Subs Not Used: Reid, McCloskey.

Referee: Raymond Crangle (Belfast).

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