Aaron Burns late strike seals win for Linfield at the Oval

Glentoran's Barry Holland with Linfield's Jamie Mulgrew
Glentoran's Barry Holland with Linfield's Jamie Mulgrew


Aaron Burns pounced with a dramatic injury time goal as Linfield sealed a last-gasp 3-2 victory at the Oval.

Trailing 2-0 after 49 minutes to a clinical double from David Scullion, the Blues bounced back with goals from Burns (2) and Peter Thompson.

It was a massive tonic for Warren Feeney’s side - who had Jimmy Callacher sent off three minutes from time - following their opening day malaise against Portadown.

Feeney made two changes to the side that lost 3-0 to the Ports at the weekend.

Mark Haughey replaced Jamie Richards in defence, while Thompson came in for Michael Carvill in attack.

Glens boss Patterson made one change from Saturday’s draw with Cliftonville, new signing Barry Holland replacing Stevie McCullough.

And it was debutant Holland who forged the first chance on four minutes, the defender latching onto Mark Miskimmin’s pass before lifting his shot over the bar from an acute angle.

Feeney came on for his competitive debut in the 17th minute, the player/manager replacing Andy Waterworth who pulled up suddenly with what appeared to be a hamstring injury.

In the 21st minute Sean Ward sent in a teasing cross for Thompson, but the striker’s glancing header bobbled just wide of the post.

McCaffrey could only find the arms of Tuffey with a low striker in the 40th minute.

Less than a minute later the Glens were denied by the woodwork - McCaffrey’s low shot bobbling off the inside of the post and into Tuffey’s arms.

The home side edged ahead in first half injury time after Miskimmin was fouled on the right edge of the box.

Stephen McAlorum delivered a near-post free-kick and Scullion darted in to glance a superb header into the top corner.

Glentoran doubled their lead in the 49th minute with Scullion again on target - this time the winger unleashing an unstoppable shot from 25 yards that fizzed past Tuffey.

Linfield battled back three minutes later with Burns cutting the deficit with a simple header.

It came from Sproule’s delivery, and when Morris lost the flight of the ball there was Burns to head home.

Spoule almost pulled the Blues level one minute later, but after being played in the winger’s shot was blocked by Morris.

The Linfield pressure continued, with Thompson testing Morris with an instinctive close-range shot in the 54th minute.

Feeney then tried his luck with a first-time effort in the 61st minute, but the strike went straight to Morris.

The equaliser arrived in the 72nd minute with Thompson on target.

It came from substitute Kirk Millar’s superb through ball, and Thompson chested the ball down before dinking his shot past Morris.

Mark Haughey headed wide in the 80th minute and then Stephen Lowry forced a good save from Morris moments later.

Substitute Jimmy Callacher was shown a red card in the 87th minute for a crude tackle on Kym Nelson.

Callacher - who had been booked earlier for handball - could have little complaints after the late challenge.

Glentoran almost claimed the win in injury time, but Willie Garrett could only head straight at Tuffey from eight yards.

There was still time for Feeney to race clear, but once again Morris was equal to the shot.

And from the resulting corner, Sproule fizzed in a corner for Burns to force home from close-range.

GLENTORAN: Morris, Holland, Garrett, Henderson, Nelson, Miskimmin (Kane 80), Addis, McAlorum (Howland 63), Stewart, McCaffrey, Scullion.

Subs not used: Birney, O’Hanlon, McCullough.

LINFIELD: Tuffey, Ward (Callacher 74), Hegarty, Haughey, Clarke, Sproule (Millar 68), Burns, Lowry, Mulgrew, Waterworth (Feeney 17), Thompson.

Subs not used: Ross Glendinning, Carvill.

Referee: Arnold Hunter (Maguiresbridge)