Belfast Telegraph

Matthews is in White mood for a shock

By Stuart McKinley

Lisburn Distillery will aim to turn the clock back four years tonight and knock holders Linfield out of the Crest Teamwear County Antrim Shield.

Just a few days before Christmas in 2002 the Whites went to Windsor Park and inflicted a 4-0 defeat on the Blues, with John Martin getting a hat-trick.

Now, with the visit of Santa Claus looming, Paul Kirk's side want to make it another white Christmas at Windsor Park when the teams met in this evening's Shield semi-final.

The Distillery board were close to telling the County Antrim FA where to stick their competition after they dictated that this evening's tie be played on Linfield's home ground rather than the neutral venue of the Oval.

After deciding instead to go ahead with the game Ballyskeagh officials are hoping that the decision will act as motivation.

The Whites have a record at Windsor Park comparable to any other visiting side and they also inflicted Linfield's only league defeat of last season when they won 3-1 in April, with Martin again on the scoresheet.

Linfield will be relieved that Martin isn't in the squad for tonight's game, but without him the Whites have hit ten goals in the last two games and conceded only one, beating Larne 5-0 on Saturday and Limavady United 5-1 seven days previously, both away from home.

"We've done well at Windsor Park on a couple of occasions," said goalkeeper Philip Matthews.

"When we went there in the league last season there was no pressure on us because they were already the champions and we weren't expected to do anything.

"We were the better team when we beat them 4-0, but that Linfield team was nowhere near as good as the team they have now, but we are a better side now too."

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph