IRISH LEAGUE: Linfield take Belfast derby spoils against Glentoran

Glentorans Curtis Allen and Linfields Jimmy Callagher in action
Glentorans Curtis Allen and Linfields Jimmy Callagher in action

GLENTORAN 1 LINFIELD 2

Linfield boss David Healy earned the bragging rights in his first Festive Big Two clash

Goals from Niall Quinn and teenager Paul Smyth earned the former Northern Ireland international is first Belfast derby win.

Even though Jonathan Smith pulled one back for Glentoran, there was no denying the Blues another Boxing Day success -- they are now unbeaten in five games.

Referee Arnold Hunter deliberated long and hard before giving this game the thumbs up.

Heavy overnight rain meant the pitch took a battering and, only for a team of volunteers, including Glens chairman Stephen Henderson and many of this Board members, the match was delayed for only 60 minutes.

But the pitch was still visibly cut up and treacherous, particularly on the touchline in front of the main grandstand, but Maguiresbridge official Arnold was eventually happy with the conditions.

The Blues forged ahead four minutes from the break. It’s a goal that will give Hogg nightmares. Quinn lined up a free kick some 35 yards out after Magee and flattened Waterworth.

Hogg appeared to have got both hands to the ball, but shamefully let is slip over the line.

And, they duly got the second goal on 61 minutes. Young Smyth tore the Glens to shreds on the right and, when he took the ball to the bye-line, he still managed to flick his past Hogg.

But the Glens were back in it 60 seconds later. Steven McCullough’s low drive was pawed clear by the glove of Glendinning, but Smith was on hand to gobble up the scraps.

Glentoran: Hogg, Kane, McCullough, Holland, Magee, Addis, Allen, Smith, McCaffrey, Gordon, Henderson (McMenamin 76).

Subs not used: Morris, Caffolla, Caldwell, Hamill..

Linfield: Ross Glendinning, Staffford, Haugheey, Callacher, Waterworth, Millar, Ward, Clarkee, Mulgrew, Quinn, Smyth (Bates 82).

Subs not used: Hegarty, Reece Glendinning, Frazer, Deane.

Referee: A Hunter (Maguiresbridge).