IRISH LEAGUE: Andy Waterworth to the ‘four’ for Linfield against Warrenpoint

Linfield's Andrew Waterworth scores one of his four goals past  Warrenpoint Town goal keeper Aaron Shananan
Linfield's Andrew Waterworth scores one of his four goals past Warrenpoint Town goal keeper Aaron Shananan

LINFIELD 5 WARRENPOINT TOWN 1

Andy Waterworth bagged a staggering four goals as Warren Feeney’s Linfield bounced back to form at Windsor Park.

The big striker took his goal tally to 13 for the season, ensuring the Blues would stay at the top of the Danske Prmiership table. Defender Mark Haughey also got in on the scoring act with a second half header.

Midfielder Mark Hughes was rewarded for a hard afternoon’s graft when he grabbed a second half consolation for the visitors.

Feeney made only one change from team that stumbled to their first defeat of the campaign against Crusaders last weekend, drafting in Mark Stafford for his debut in place of Reece Glendinning.

Even though Barry Gray was unhappy with his side’s home defeat by Dungannon, he surprisingly handed the same eleven a starting shirt.

Still smarting from that Seaview result, the Blues stormed from the traps with Kirk Millar whipping in a teasing cross, that big Guy Bates fainced by inches to meet.

The home team should have been in front on 12 minutes. This time Bates turned provider. His cross was flicked on by Waterworth and, with the goal at his mercy, Kirk Millar’s shot was pawed to safety by goalkeeper Aaron Shanahan.

But the Blues had better luck on 27 minutes with that Waterworth opener. Bates again did the hard work on the left before delivering a wonderful cross that was headed home by the big striker.

Warrenpoint should really have been level on 32 minutes. Mark Hughes rolled a super pass into the path of his brother Stephen and with the Linfield defence totally split, the midfielder shot inches past the post.

Waterworth required merely two minutes of the second half to bag his 11th goal of the season. He picked up a pass form Aaron Burns before drilling the ball under Shanahan form the edge of the box.

It sould have been three four minutes later when Shanahan managed to flip a Bates header over the top following a cross from Sean Ward.

But the Blues duly made it three on 71 minutes. Haughey continued his impressive scoring theme against Warrenpoint by heading home a Niall Quinn corner kick.

With the game over, the visitors pulled one back with Mark Hughes drilling home a beauty from distance.

But Waterworth had the last laugh. He tapped home his hat-trick on 83 minutes following a Quinn cross.

And, he still wasn’t finished because he made it four for the day on 88 minutes, picking up a David Kee pass before walking around Shanahan and planting the ball into the empty net.

Linfield: Ross Glendinning, Stafford (Reece Glendinning 80), Haughey, Waterworth, Lowry (Kee 71), Bates, Millar (Quinn 42), Burns, Ward, Clarke, Mulgrew.

Subs not used: Deane, Salley.

Warrenpoint Town: Shanahan, King (Clarke 80), McVeigh, McDonald (Rooney 67), D Hughs, S Hughes, Bagnall, M Hughes, Moan, Kierans (Murray 67), Boyle.

Subs not used: Smith, Dane.

Referee: R Hetherington (Maguiresbridbge).