Jimmy Callacher scored both Linfield's goal (©INPHO/Brian Little)
Tuesday, 01 January 2019
Jimmy Callacher grabbed both goals as Linfield moved back to the top of the table with victory over Ards at the Bangor Fuels Arena.
Ards were presented with a great opportunity to seize the early advantage when, after three minutes, Jonah Mitchell forced Blues keeper Roy Carroll into a low save to turn the ball away from the bottom corner.
Moments later Ards striker Mark Kelly came close only to fire into the side netting while Jordan Stewart crafted Linfield's first effort soon after when he cut inside from the right before offering up a left foot shot which drifted just wide.
Kym Nelson then tested Carroll with a free-kick from the edge of the box before, later in the half, Craig McClean almost turned the ball into his own net after attempting to clear a Joel Cooper led attack.
Andrew Waterworth came within a whisker of opening the scoring early in the second half but could only fire just wide of the far post after working free of a defender.
But the deadlock was broken just short of the hour when, from a Niall Quinn corner, Callacher headed past Sam Johnston from six yards out.
Kirk Millar might have added a second soon after when he pounced on a defensive mistake but, despite lobbing onrushing Johnston, could only direct the ball just wide.
However Callacher did double Linfield'slead with 15 minutes remaining in what was a carbon copy of his opening goal, a header from a Quinn delivery.
Ards: Johnston, Kerr, E. McAllister, Byers, Cherry, M. Kelly, Mitchell, J. Kelly, McClean, Nelson, McAleenan subs Davidson (not used), McLellan (replaced Mitchell 69), D. McAllister (replaced Cherry 62), McKenna (not used), Brown (not used), Johnston (not used), Boyd (replaced M. Kelly 78)
Linfield: Carroll, Robinson, Callacher, Waterworth, Cooper, Stewart, Millar, Fallon, Mulgrew, Quinn, Casement subs Deane (not used), Stafford (not used), Clarke (replaced Cooper 79), Kearns (replaced Stewart 79), Garrett (not used), Mitchell (not used), Reynolds (not used)
Referee: Evan Boyce
|Kyle Cherry||45 +2||62|