Joshua Robinson (86)

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Josh Robinson celebrates scoring Linfield's winner (©INPHO/Brian Little)

LATE ROBINSON FINISH GIVES BLUES NARROW WIN

Josh Robinson grabbed the late winner as Linfield narrowly defeated Larne in a closely fought encounter at Windsor Park.

Robinson turned home what proved to be the decisive goal on 86 minutes from close range after Andrew Mitchell's free-kick was palmed into his path by Larne keeper Conor Devlin under pressure from Mark Stafford.

The first half was an even affair with both sides having chances but unable to make them count.

Stephen Fallon tested Devlin with a strong 25-yard drive early on with Shayne Lavery have a couple of chances in quick succession soon after.

Larne's best efforts came through a Ben Tilney shot over from inside the area and Marty Donnelly having a go from a tight angle on the left.

There were few chances in a relatively quiet second half with perhaps Lavery having the best opening when his header from a Kirk Millar corner was saved by Devlin.

But the tempo of the half changed in the closing few minutes when Larne's Davy McDaid turned the ball against the inside of the post then rolling across the face of goal to safety before, moments later, Robinson turned home the only goal of the game.

Linfield: Ferguson, Stafford, Waterworth, Cooper, Robinson, Millar, Lavery, Fallon, Mulgrew, McGivern, Mitchell subs Moore (not used), Shevlin (not used), Stewart (replaced Waterworth 71), Clarke (not used), Reynolds (not used), Casement (replaced Mulgrew 38), Hume (not used)

Larne: Devlin, Flowers, Kelly, Watson, Ramsey, Sule, McDaid, Donnelly, Tilney, Lynch, Hughes subs Mitchell (not used), McEleney (not used), Randall (replaced Sule 76), McKendry (replaced Tilney 76), Graham (not used), Andrade (not used), Gilmour (replaced Ramsey 88)

Referee: Shane Andrews

Attendance: 2510

Tags:  Larne  Linfield