Matthew Tipton hoping to exorcise demons as he continues stellar return from injury

HAT-TRICK HERO: Matt Tipton scores the first of his three goals against Coleraine
HAT-TRICK HERO: Matt Tipton scores the first of his three goals against Coleraine

Matthew Tipton is hoping to exorcise some personal demons as he continues his stellar return from injury.

The Linfield striker bagged a clinical hat-trick against Coleraine on Saturday to make it six goals in three games.

It helped the Blues record a deserved 5-2 victory at Windsor Park – a result that sees them close to within seven points of Premiership leaders Cliftonville.

Tipton has endured a torrid season of set-backs since signing for the champions last May.

His campaign to date has been stalled by a succession of injuries to his calf, hip and knee.

But now the former Portadown hitman is firing on all cylinders.

He got his Linfield career up and running with a strike against Glenavon last week, followed by a deadly brace against Cliftonville on New Year’s Day.

And on Saturday he went one better with a hat-trick against lacklustre Coleraine at Windsor.

“People will be demanding four from me next week,” Tipton joked about his recent scoring streak.

“I feel great. The best thing that could have happened was the Christmas period where I had to play the three games in six days, and now four in 10.

“It gave me the confidence.

“Playing in the Big Two game gave me a massive boost. It is such a big fixture with a big crowd, and it took that kind of game to lift me.

“It is not easy playing after being out for so long, so the Big Two was a great boost for me.

“Thankfully I scored against Glenavon and it has got me through this run.”

Tipton admits he did suffer some mental demons following his injury-plagued start to the season.

“It crossed my mind that maybe I had brought bad luck to the club,” he said.

“I was out injured, and the team was going through a bad patch. People say things like ‘you’ve gone to the wrong club’, but I always knew in my mind I had gone to the right one.

“It just didn’t happen for me, but hopefully come the end of the season I can prove I did choose the right club.

“Of course you start having doubts. As a footballer you do think these things. I had been injured the whole season, and people were saying ‘you are done’ and ‘your legs are gone’ and you start doubting yourself.

“People don’t know how bad the injuries were, and I was starting to think ‘are they right and I am wrong?’. But you don’t go from scoring a hat-trick on the last day of last season to just being rubbish.”