Linfield get off to winning start in league as they beat Glenavon at Mourneview Park

Action from Mourneview Park
Action from Mourneview Park

GLENAVON 0 LINFIELD 1

Daniel Kearns scored the winner at Mourneview Park as Linfield saw off Glenavon 1-0 on the opening day of the season.

Glenavon versus Linfield

Glenavon versus Linfield

The finish from close range sealed the win for the Blues but Glenavon deserved at least a share of the spoils after the effort they had put in.

Both managers will be satisfied with their side's display and if Andrew Mitchell had scored from the penalty spot in the first half - things could have been different.

Two minutes in to the first half and Linfield's Andrew Waterworth tested Andrew Doyle's pace but the Linfield's strikers shot was well saved by Jonathan Tuffey.

The home side were awarded a penalty in the fifth minute after Chris Casement was penalised for handling in the box.

Glenavon's Mark Sykes takes on the Linfield defence

Glenavon's Mark Sykes takes on the Linfield defence

Andrew Mitchell stepped up but he blazed his effort over the bar and the chance was lost. It would not have been the start the big striker would have wanted to his league campaign.

Casement would have been counting his blessings in the 13th minute. The Linfield player who had already been booked when giving away the penalty brought down Josh Daniels with a clumsy tackle. This time referee Ian McNabb gave him a warning while the home crowd bayed for a card to be produced.

Linfield's Daniel Kearns tried his luck from the edge of the box in the 20th minute. However it was straight at Tuffey.

Daniels went on a surging run for the home but Blues keeper Roy Carroll was equal to the task.

Action from Mourneview Park

Action from Mourneview Park

The Blues had the ball in the net in the 26th minute. Their joy was short lived as Jimmy Callacher was off-side when he headed home.

It was 1-0 to the Blues in the 30th minute as Kearns fired home after an Andrew Mitchell free-kick was partially cleared by the home defence. And the home side have been disappointed to go a goal behind as they had started the match brightly.

Mark Sykes had a great chance in the 36th minute after a sweeping move but he scuffed his shot when well placed.

The Blues had a huge chance after the break to extend their lead. Waterworth rounded the keeper but his shot was cleared by Caolan Marron.

Glenavon's Sykes had another chance in the 62nd minute. The midfielder latched onto a through ball but his lob missed the target with Carroll stranded.Gary Hamilton was starting to look frustrated on the sidelines.

Sykes tried his luck again in the 70th minute was but his rasping drive was palmed away by Carroll in the Linfield goal.

In the 75th minute Glenavon sub Jordan Jenkins went close as his shot was finally gathered by Carroll.

Doyle tried his luck from long range and as Carroll looked on it flew just over the bar.

Glenavon had a penalty claim in the 86th minute but once again waved play on and the Blues held on for the win after Carroll brilliantly denied Jenkins in injury time. A fantastic save from the Northern Ireland international.

Glenavon: Tuffey, Marron, Doyle, Grace (Norton 72mins), Daniels, Mitchell (Jenkins 76 mins), Sykes, Hall (Donnelly 66 mins), Muir, Mularke, Murray, Singleton.

Subs not used: King, Harmon, Taylor.

Linfield: Carroll, Casement, Clarke, Robinson, Callagher, Quinn, Mitchell, Cooper (Stewart 80mins), Cairns, Miller, Waterworth (O'Connor 72mins).

Subs not used: Deane, Nielson, Fallon, Smith, McGuinness.

Referee: Ian McNabb