Glentoran Belfast United extended their lead at the top of the Concentrix Premier League on Wednesday night with a hard fought victory over a spirited Linfield side.
Both sides looked nervous in the opening exchanges of the match but it was Glentoran that broke the deadlock in the eighth minute when Catherine Sheridan was the quickest to react in the box when the ball bounced loose in the six yard box after Linfield failed to clear from a corner. Northern Ireland Kelly Bailie then extended the lead in the 31st minute when she rose high in the penalty box to expertly finish from a well delivered corner. Half time score 0-2.
Linfield started the second half brightly and got themselves back into the game in the 75 minute when a Glentoran player was adjudged to have handled the ball in the box and Kirsty McGuinness coolly slotted the resultant penalty past Ashleigh McKinnon in the Glentoran goal. The remaining minutes of the game of the game we're thrilling with Linfield coming close to finding the equaliser. A minute from time McGuinness almost found the elusive goal when she struck a blistering shot goal bound but the alert McKinnon managed to parry it just around the post.
Raymond Alexander, Head Coach of Glentoran commented after the game;
"We showed a lot of determination tonight to hold onto our lead and I am very proud of the performance of my team. Linfield gave us a really good game in the second half but our girls stood strong and thoroughly deserved the victory".
Linfield Ladies captain Sarah Venney conveyed the disappointment of her team by remarking;
"It was a very spirited performance by our girls tonight but we just couldn't find that equaliser. We have a week off next week because of the Northern Ireland team playing Sweden so we will use the time to regroup and focus again for the next set of league fixtures