Andy Waterworth bags hat-trick as Linfield see off Dungannon Swifts at Windsor Park

Andy Waterworth bags his hat-trick goal against Dungannon Swifts
Andy Waterworth bags his hat-trick goal against Dungannon Swifts

Linfield 5 Dungannon Swifts 1

Andy Waterworth’s second half treble kept Linfield top of the early season table.

The striker produced a top class display of finishing to maintain the Blues’ 100% start.

Dungannon had been level approaching the hour mark, but the game turned on David Armstrong’s sending off.

Dungannon almost took a shock lead when Cormac Burke tried his luck from an angle, but his effort was cleared off the line.

Linfield’s first chance fell to Burns, but his drive was comfortably collected by the goalkeeper.

Waterworth then met a short pass from Guy Bates and drilled a 20-yard effort just beyond the far post.

The Blues’ growing pressure was rewarded when they took a 19th minute lead.

A corner wasn’t dealt with by the Swifts’ defence, the ball was knocked down to Burns and his turn and shot found the net.

However, it was far from one-way traffic in the first half.

Paul McElroy perhaps should have done better after the ball broke from a free-kick, skying his effort over the crossbar.

Then a header from Armstrong was cleared off the line.

Linfield went close to a second approaching the half-time interval when Stephen Lowry’s drive flashed just wide.

Dungannon levelled within a minute of the restart, as Armstrong met a free-kick and looped the ball beyond the goalkeeper.

But his afternoon took a sour turn after he was booked twice in the space of five minutes, resulting in an early exit.

Linfield quickly made their advantage count as Waterworth took a pass, turned his marker and curled the ball beyond the goalkeeper.

Soon afterwards Millar was played in by Burns, only to fire wide from a promising position.

Linfield made it 3-1 in the 82nd minute.

Sub David Kee’s cross-shot found Waterworth lurking, and he made no mistake with a simple finish.

Waterworth completed his hat-trick when he headed home Bates’ cross.

Sub Adam Salley then rounded off the scoring in stoppage time, netting from Niall Quinn’s cross.

LINFIELD: Ross Glendinning, Haughey, Waterworth (Quinn, 89), Lowry, Bates, Millar (Salley, 85), Burns, Ward, Clarke, Mulgrew (Kee, 74), Reece Glendinning

Subs not used: Deane, Hegarty

DGN SWIFTS: Coleman, Burns, Montgomery, Armstrong, McCaffrey, Harpur, Fitzpatrick (Hazley, 59), Glackin, Burke (Liggett, 80), Teggart (McCullough, 71), McElroy

Subs not used: Mitchell, Addis

Referee: Mervyn Smith (Belfast)