Shayne Lavery thrilled to be up and running

Shayne Lavery was delighted to get off the mark for Northern Ireland in their 4-1 World Cup qualifying win over Lithuania last night.

Friday, 3rd September 2021, 10:17 am
Shayne Lavery celebrates his first Northern Ireland goal in the World Cup Qualifier at the LFF Stadium in Vilnius. Photo by William Cherry / Presseye

The former Linfield man fired home the crucial third goal after Bailey Peacock-Farrell produced a superb save to deny Arvydas Novikovas from the spot.

Lavery, who has been in excellent form for his new club Blackpool, was pleased to help Northern Ireland pick up their first win in Group C.

“It’s brilliant to get off the mark for the senior team, but I thought I maybe could have had another before half time,” said the striker.

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“Overall though it’s nice to finally get the goal and most importantly the three points.

“Bailey’s save was massive for us.

“They were just starting to come into the game, the goal gave them a lot of belief.

“The lads showed massive character to keep composed and see if through until the end.”

Dan Ballard put Ian Baraclough’s men in front with his goal for his country with Conor Washington and Paddy McNair both converting from the spot.

Captain Steven David was full of praise for his depleted squad and their performance in Vilnius ahead of Switzerland’s visit to Belfast next Wednesday.

“We’re just delighted to get the win, it’s been a difficult period, but the boys dealt with it really well,” he said.

“We’re missing a lot of key players tonight but the boys who stepped in did a magnificent job and we look forward to the next game.

“The full focus tonight was to come and get the win and then trying to build momentum going into the Switzerland game.

“It’s going to be a really tough test but it’s going to be magnificent having our fans back in the stadium pushing them on, and we’ll certainly need them as it’s going to be a tough game.

“This was the first box ticked, but hopefully we can get another special night back at our home place and we’ll see where we lie in the group after that.”