Linfield 2 Glentoran 1
Ivan Sproule won this Big Two thriller at Windsor Park by grabbing a late winner, but his moment of celebration was tarnished after he removed his shirt which earned him his marching orders!
This was another Festive classic. Stephen Gordon shot Glentoran into a first half lead, but Sammy Morrow levelled before the break.a
Sproule win it with a superb finish on 82 minutes, but it was his final contribution to the game.
The victory keeps Warren Feeney’s team four points clear in the Danske Premiership table.
Glentoran took the lead on 27 minutes when young Jordan Stewart produced a little bit of trickery on the left before crossing or Gordon to slam home at the back post.
He almost did it again four minutes before the break, meeting another delicious cross from Stewart, but this time his header flashed wide after Blues defender Niall Quinn completely fluffed his lines when attempting to clear.
It could have been even better for Glentoran, had Gordon been a little more accurate with a header four minutes before the break after Stewart’s wonderfully flighted pass picked out the former Ards man.
But possibly against the run of play, Linfield levelled on the stroke of half time. Lowry’s surging run into the box. When he picked out Morrow he still has an enormous amount to do, but after cleverly turning his marker, he managed to rocket the ball under the diving Morris.
Glentoran began the second with a spring in their step. Allen gobbled up a Willie Garrett pass and, after holding off Jimmy Callacher, he could only fire wide.
Then Mark Haughey came to Linfield’s rescue on 61 minutes when he managed to whip the ball off the toe of Allen who looked a likely scorer after great work on the right by Niall Henderson.
But it was Sproule who won it eight minutes from time when he latched onto Waterworth’s pass before slipping the ball under Morris.
Linfield: Ross Glendinning, Richards (Reece Glendinning 65), Haughey, Callacher, Waterworth, Lowry, Millar (Brown 84), Morrow (Clusas 88), Mulgrew, Sproule, Quinn.
Subs: Tuffey, Carvill.
Glentoran: Morris, Garrett, Kane (McKee 80), Scullion (McAlorum 63), Allen, Stewart, Henderson, Addis, Gordon, Holland, McCullough.
Subs: McCafffrey, Nelson, Hogg.
A Davey (Bangor).