Friday, 28 September 2018
Linfield Ladies won the Danske Bank Premiership title in dramatic fashion with victory over Glentoran Women's FC after trailing by three goals at half-time.
The win sealed a third straight title for Linfield with two games remaining.
In a game of two halves it was Glentoran that bossed the first half and deservedly went in with a three goal cushion.
Makyla Mullholland, Ali McMaster and Rachel Rogan put the Glens ahead in a stunning first half performance.
Mulholland headed in from a Demi Vance corner in the fifth minute to give Glentoran a dream start.
Linfield almost equalised when Kirsty McGuinness came close to an equaliser on 19 minutes. Teeded up by Louise McDaniel, McGuinness fired across the keeper but the ball couldn’t beat the post.
Glentoran came close to a second on 24 minutes when a terrific shot from distance by Vance struck the post and rolled along the goal line before being cleared by a grateful Linfield defence.
However, the home side went 2-0 ahead on 27 minutes. A long free kick into the box was headed down into the path of McMaster who bundled the ball home.
The East Belfast side then made it 3-0 in the 45th minute when a Vance corner was flicked home at the near post by Rachel Rogan.
At the interval Linfield made some important changes, captain Sarah Venney replaced injured goalkeeper Jamie Lee Wilson and Louise McFrederick went into goal.
Within fourth minutes of the restart Rebecca McKenna fired home a terrific shot from distance into the top corner and the comeback was on.
On 52 minutes McGuinness was released one on one with the keeper and she had the composure to slot the ball home and make the score 3-2.
With momentum the league leaders looked a completely different team from the first half. Glentoran were hanging on but looking dangerous on the break and on the 70th minute Linfield drew level. A shot from McGuinness took a wicked deflection to leave Ashleigh McKinnon totally stranded and the comeback was complete at 3-3.
A point would have clinched the title for Linfield at this stage but the Blues went on to win in style. The momentum was with the title chasing Blues' and they went in search of more goals.
A deep free kick from McGuinness found Ashley Hutton at the back post and she powered home the header to put Linfield 4-3 ahead on 75 minutes.
The incredible comeback was completed on 79 minutes when Rebecca Bassett blasted home from distance into the roof of the net to make Linfield comfortable at 5-3 and the celebrations among the Linfield fans could begin.
Glentoran Women's FC: McKinnon, Mulholland, Peachey, Milligan, Vance, McMaster, Rogan, Caldwell, Bailie, White, Foy subs Gamble (not used), Maxwell (replaced McMaster 46), Baxter (not used)
Linfield Ladies: Wilson, Burrows, Hutton, McFrederick, McDade, McCarron, Bell, K. McGuinness, Magee, McKenna, McDade subs Venney (replaced Wilson 46), Howe (replaced McDaniel 62), C. McGuinness (not used), Bassett (replaced Magee 70)
Referee: Neil McArdle