EETU AT THE DOUBLE FOR LINFIELD
Two goals from Eetu Vertainen helped Linfield secure a 3-1 victory over Newry City at The Showgrounds.
The former Finland U21 international opened the scoring for the visitors after 16 minutes when he got on the end of a Joel Cooper cross to beat keeper Steven Maguire from close range.
He struck again just before the half-hour mark when, following a break from a Daniel Hughes effort at the other end, he fired into the bottom corner with low drive from around 20 yards from goal.
However Newry responded positively and duly pulled a goal back ten minutes from the interval courtesy of a bullet header from Lorcan Forde after a corner had been sent over from the right.
The home side might have levelled after that when a Hughes' effort almost ricocheted into the net while, after the break, Hughes and James Teelan provided a constant threat as Darren Mullen's looked to find a way back into the game.
But Linfield made sure of the points with 12 minutes remaining through substitute Andrew Clarke who met a Joel Cooper ball to the near post to control it and turn it past Maguire.
Newry City: Maguire, King, N. Healy, McGivern, Hughes, Lockhart, Teelan, McGovern, Moan, Forde, Montgomery subs Brady (not used), Carville (replaced Forde 68), Martin (not used), B. Healy (replaced McGovern 78), Donnelly (replaced Lockhart 68), Scullion (replaced Montgomery 87), Clarke (replaced Hughes 78)
Linfield: Johns, Newberry, Millar, Cooper, M. Clarke, McKee, Devine, Mulgrew, Vertainen, Pepper, Palmer subs Walsh (not used), Roscoe (not used), Shields (replaced McKee 68), McClean (replaced Mulgrew 82), McDaid (replaced Palmer 68), Finlayson (replaced Devine 77), A. Clarke (replaced Vertainen 68)