Sunday, August 24, 2008

Linfield 1 Newry City 0

JJB Sports Premiership, Windsor Park, Saturday 23rd August 2008.

Team: Addis, Burns, Bailie, Murphy, O’Kane, Mulgrew, Gault (Martin 60), Downey, Curran, Carvill (Lindsay 90), Ferguson
Subs not used : White, Miskimmin, Douglas

Scorer: Martin (1st goal for Linfield on debut)

Attendance: ca. 3000 (approx. 40 Newry fans)

ZZZZZZ was the text Bluenose sent just before half-time, and it pretty much summed up the game. We were apparently playing a 4-3-3 in the absence of Maccers, Hagan, Kearney, Harkness, Dougie etc, but to most of us, we had no shape in midfield at all, players looked confused and swapped about, and we couldn't get going.

The second half was slightly better, we played quite a bit of neat one-touch football, but it was mostly all fart and no shite, no end product. It took Martin's substitution and almost immediate goal to spark some life into us, and Newry rarely theatened, apart from a brilliant save Addis made from a close-range header in the first half, and a brief revival near the end when Garrett (should never have been let go) perked up the Newry attack, on for the ineffectual Lee Feeney.

Other incidents: Gaulty clattering the post trying to get on the end of a Fergie cross (just bruising thankfully)
Collins looking a shadow of his former self, trying to intimidate and keep up with Gault and Mulgrew
Loughrey (going against the grain here) had a good game imo, let it flow where possible, always talking and explaining things to the players

On our players:

- Billy Joe Burns: made his full legaue debut at right-back, and was a revelation, pace, confidence, passing, touch, he's got the lot. Forced a great save in the first half, put Monkey Head on his back. Why it's taken this long, and the loss of THREE RBs to give him his chance, I don't know. He's a natural successor to Noel, if a) we give him a new contract NOW and b) if bigger clubs don't snap him up first
- Michael Carvill: impressed again, pace to burn, keeps going, gets up and gets on with it when busted, would be nice to see him at CF for a bit
- Curran: opinions divided among fans I spoke to. I just don't see the point. He brings nothing. Too slow, cumbersome, his passes unremarkable, his set-pieces poor.
- Downey: All fart and no shite. Nice turns, but he is one gurny wee fu cker, his attitude stinks.
- Spike: ever slowing and tiring. Still got the touches and the brain, alas not the body anymore.
- Addis: had a solid game, including that great save.
- John Martin: looks like he could do a job for us this season as an impact sub. Bit of pace.

The other depressing thing, despite the weather, was the fact that only around 3000 were there, despite it being free in. We really are down to the hardcore, people won't even come if it's free. Some kids tried to get an atmosphere going, but 30, in a 22k stadium, with only 40 opposing fans, were always fighting a losing battle.

Rumours during the game were that Waterworth is Derry bound. Another striker escapes us, and 1 week of the transfer window left. DJ in the NOTW today:

"We may have to go down the road of getting someone on-loan - perhaps from across the water. Time is running out... in the end we may have to go along with what we've got"

Not good enough. Fergie and Downey are not going to beat St. Pat's, or Derry, or the Glens. Sort it out Jeffrey.

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