Goalkeeper Roy Carroll proved on Saturday that class is permanent as Linfield saw off Carrick Rangers 2-0 in the Danske Bank Premier League.
Goals from Stephen Lowry and Paul Smyth sealed the three points for David Healy’s side but it was the former Northern Ireland keeper who produced a world class save in the 83rd minute to deny a Sean Noble piledriver when the score line was 1-0 to the Blues.
Before that flying save - Carroll had been more of a spectator as Linfield peppered the Carrick goal with efforts.
And in chilly conditions - that would have made an Eskimo go indoors - Carroll produced that one moment of quality that sealed the three points for Linfield.
And Linfield manager David Healy was pleased with his big stoppers contribution.
“He is not a bad goalkeeper and that was a great save but fair play to Carrick they had a go as we knew they would and they have the Cup final to play for next Saturday and with them and Ballymena it will be feisty affair,” he said.
And Healy admitted that his players had to concentrate on their own game and not be concerned with league leaders Crusaders - who beat Ballymena United 2-1 on Saturday.
“Crusaders usually win their games and that is why they are the champions but we have to stay as close to them as we can and we do have to play them again and hopefully by then we are still within touching distance at that stage.
“We had enough chances to score a second goal but we knew one mistake or one bad decision could cost us.
“But I thought we were very professional today and if he only has one save to make every week it means the back four are doing a good job,” said Healy.
And Carrick Rangers boss Aaron Callaghan- who had watched his side play for 60 minutes without keeper Brian Neeson - was pleased with his teamhh’s display but didn’t believe Linfield should have been awarded a penalty in the first half.
“I have to question the decision for the penalty and it is one of these decisions that Linfield have got again.
“How is a defender supposed to get out of the way from a shot when he is two yards away.
“It didn’t even hit his hand, it hit his elbow. Those decisions always go to the bigger clubs.
“It was a difficult decision and I have total respect for referees and they have a difficult job but I can’t understand how quickly they blow their whistle.They don’t give themselves any time and maybe they should take their time and they could even ask the assistants.
“But sometimes they seem to be making the decision before the incident.”