Match Centre

Premiership
Tuesday 22 August 2023 (kick off: 7.45 PM)

Venue: Windsor Park

Attendance: 4118

Referee: Tim Marshall

Linfield home-team
2 FT 1
away-team Cliftonville
  •   Chris McKee 45'
  •   Joel Cooper 82'
  •   Luke Turner 79'
football
Joel Cooper hit Linfield's winner ©Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press

COOPER HEADS BLUES INTO POLE POSITION

Linfield moved to the top of the Sports Direct Premiership following a tense victory over Cliftonville at Windsor Park.

The Blues almost seized the advantage early in the game when Jamie Mulgrew pounced on an errant pass from Nathan Gartside, only for the Reds keeper to make amends to save the subsequent shot.

Linfield threatened again midway through the first half with Kyle McClean having a go from the edge of the area with his effort deflecting behind for a corner.

At the other end only a timely Matthew Clarke block prevented Ronan Doherty from finding the net, with the Reds coming close again through a 35-yard Rory Hale effort that Chris Johns just about turned over after scrambling back onto his goalline.

The deadlock was broken in Linfield's favour moments from the break when Chris McKee bagged his fourth goal of the season after being released by Joel Cooper to make no mistake from inside the box.

David Healy's side might have doubled their advantage six minutes after the interval when Kirk Millar produced a reaction save from Gartside while, from the resulting corner, Daniel Finlayson was thwarted from the visiting keeper.

Gartside was then called into action once more around ten minutes after that to keep out a thunderous left-foot strike from Cooper as the Blues looked to stretch their lead.

Linfield came within a whisker moving further ahead once more midway through the second half when Finlayson nodded a Matthew Clarke against the crossbar with Jack Scott denied on the follow up by a clearance of the line.

However Cliftonville levelled with just over ten minutes remaining courtesy of a Luke Turner touch over the line after a bit of a scramble in the box as Finlayson tried to clear a Ronan Doherty goalbound effort.

But, just three minutes after that, Linfield regained the lead following a Clarke cross onto the back post that Cooper did well to meet and nod past Gartside into the net.

Chris Shields might have added a third in stoppage time after dispossessing Kris Lowe only to fire straight at Gartside from close range.

Linfield: Johns, Finlayson, Shields, Scott, Millar, McClean, Cooper, Hall, Clarke, McKee, Mulgrew subs Walsh, Newberry, McBrien, Robertson, McKay, Archer, McStravick

Cliftonville: Gartside, Stewart, Addis, Gallagher, Hale, Lowe, Robinson, Doherty, Casey, Turner, Wilson subs Odumosu, Pepper, Curran, McDonagh, Storey, McGuinness, Berry

  • FULL TIME
    Linfield   2 - 1 Cliftonville
  • red subsititutions  Substitution

    Jamie Robinson

    H&W Welders

    89'
  • red subsititutions  Substitution

    Ronan Doherty

    Cliftonville

    89'
  • green subsititutions  Substitution

    Conor Pepper

    Cliftonville

    89'
  • green subsititutions  Substitution

    Jack Berry

    Departed Players

    89'
  •  Yellow Card

    Kyle McClean

    Linfield

    87'
  • red subsititutions  Substitution

    Jamie Mulgrew

    Linfield

    86'
  • green subsititutions  Substitution

    Joshua Archer

    Linfield

    86'
  • red subsititutions  Substitution

    Chris McKee

    Linfield

    85'
  • green subsititutions  Substitution

    Darragh McBrien

    Linfield

    85'
  • GOAL

    Joel Cooper

    Linfield

    82'
  • GOAL

    Luke Turner

    Departed Players

    79'
  •  Yellow Card

    Matthew Clarke

    Departed Players

    68'
  •  Yellow Card

    Ronan Doherty

    Cliftonville

    66'
  • GOAL

    Chris McKee

    Linfield

    45'
  •  Yellow Card

    Jamie Mulgrew

    Linfield

    45'
  •  Yellow Card

    Jack Scott

    Coleraine

    36'

Linfield

  • Chris Johns
  • Daniel Finlayson
  • Chris Shields
  • Jack Scott 36'
  • Chris McKee red substitution 85' 45'
  • Kirk Millar
  • Kyle McClean 87'
  • Ben Hall
  • Joel Cooper 82'
  • Matthew Clarke 68'
  • Jamie Mulgrew 45' red substitution 86'

Substitutes

  • David Walsh
  • Michael Newberry
  • Darragh McBrien green substitution 85'
  • John Robertson
  • Ryan McKay
  • Joshua Archer green substitution 86'
  • Liam McStravick

Cliftonville

  • Nathan Gartside
  • Sean Stewart
  • Jonathan Addis
  • Chris Gallagher
  • Rory Hale
  • Kris Lowe
  • Jamie Robinson red substitution 89'
  • Ronan Doherty 66' red substitution 89'
  • Odhran Casey
  • Luke Turner 79'
  • Ben Wilson

Substitutes

  • David Odumosu
  • Conor Pepper green substitution 89'
  • Chris Curran
  • Jamie McDonagh
  • Gerard Storey
  • Stephen McGuinness
  • Jack Berry green substitution 89'
© Pacemaker Press

Linfield

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Cliftonville

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