Champions Linfield bounced back from last week’s loss at Glentoran to defeat Cliftonville in a close-fought encounter at Midgley Park - Cora Morgan and Northern Ireland international defender Ashley Hutton were on target for the Blues after the break.
Both teams had plenty of chances in the opening half - with Linfield’s Casey Howe and Cliftonville star Marissa Callaghan the main goal threats.
16-year-old Morgan broke the deadlock nine minutes after the break with a long-range from 30 yards, giving Reds goalkeeper Lauren Welsh no chance.
Substitute Hutton - who had replaced Mia Fitzsimmons on the hour mark - scored almost immediately after coming on, tucking in the Blues second following Howe’s corner.
Hutton replaced Fitzsimmons just after the hour and eight minutes later stole in at the back post to tuck away Linfield’s second from a Howe corner.
The young Linfield team grew in confidence and Howe was twice denied by the crossbar as both sides continued to exchange chances, but the Blues picked up the points in an entertaining contest.
Linfield Ladies: Adams, Fitzsimmons, McFrederick, Howe, Bassett, Morgan, McKenna, Magee, E. Leckey, Donnan, McConnell subs McCleary (not used), Hutton (replaced Fitzsimmons 63), S. Leckey (replaced Morgan 80), Dickson (replaced E. Leckey 74)