Wednesday, 25 April 2018
Linfield Ladies opened the New Midgley Park stadium with a thrilling 4-3 victory over Belfast rivals Glentoran.
The Glens got off to a flying start with Ali McMaster scoring after 12 minutes. Demi Vance put a ball in from the left and McMaster jinked past a defender before putting the ball over the helpless Lauren Perry in the Linfield goal.
Glentoran didn't keep the lead for long and Linfield equalised four minutes later when Kirsty McGuinness' ball fell to Ali Smyth at the back post and she made it all square.
In a frantic first half McGuinness took control of the game for the Blues and scored two quick fire goals before half time.
Great interplay between Megan Bell and Louise McDaniel saw Bell slide a pass to the back post for McGuinness to finish. Ali Smyth then turned provider, holding the ball up well before delivering an inch perfect cross to McGuinness to bag her second of the evening.
After the restart McGuinness extended the Linfield lead, latching onto Sarah Venney's headed pass to lob Ashleigh McKinnon for 4-1. Glentoran kept battling and Caragh Milligan pulled two goals back in the second half.
Linfield lost Smyth due to a wrist injury and Glentoran had strong appeals for a penalty but at full time it finished with a 4-3 Linfield victory in a thrilling exchange.
Linfield Ladies: Perry, Magee, Hutton, McDade, Venney, McCarron, McDaniel, Smyth, McGuinness, Robson, Bell subs Myles (replaced Venney 29), Dempster (replaced Smyth 65), McKenna (replaced McDaniel 39), Burrows (not used), McCarthy (not used)
Glentoran Womens FC: McKinnon, White, Bailie, Foy, Caldwell, Vance, Lennon, Milligan, McMaster, Flood, Mulvenna subs Mulholland (replaced Bailie 36), Gamble (not used), Rogan (replaced McMaster 84), Taggart (not used), Eadzo (not used)
Referee: Ryan Hanna