MATCH WINNING 'FINNISH' FOR EETU
Eetu Vertainen knocked home the late winner as Linfield defeated Glentoran in the Boxing Day derby at the BetMcLean Oval.
A quiet start to the game saw the sides exchanges half chances early on with Cameron Palmer testing Aaron McCarey from the edge of the area while, for the Glens, Terry Devlin sent a 20-yard effort dipping narrowly wide.
Linfield moved in front five minutes from the break. Vertainen was upended inside the area by Patrick McClean who conceded a penalty for his trouble and from the subsequent spot-kick Chris Shields confidently scored despite McCarey getting a hand to the ball.
Glentoran levelled nine minutes into the second half through Jay Donnelly after he connected with a McClean cross to send a looping header into the top corner.
McClean, who was having an eventful game, might have edged the home side in front from distance only to see his well taken effort go over the crossbar.
But it fell to Vertainen to secure a vital three points for the visitors when, right at the end of normal time, he broke free of his marker to hammer the ball high into the net.
Glentoran: McCarey, Kane, McCullough, Burns, Marshall, J. Donnelly, R. Donnelly, McClean, Clucas, Devlin, Plum subs Webber, Roy, Murray, Smith, Crowe, Purkis, Wightman
Linfield: Johns, Roscoe, Shields, Callacher, Cooper, McDaid, M. Clarke, Finlayson, Mulgrew, Vertainen, Palmer subs Walsh, McClean, McKee, Devine, Pepper, A. Clarke, McStravick