Last Time Out

Last Time Out

NIALL Quinn would net a late goal for Linfield as they left The Showgrounds with all three points in the penultimate game of the season back in April…


Saturday, April 15, 2023


Coleraine 0-1 Linfield

Goal – Quinn (’87 mins)


COLERAINE would suffer a late defeat with substitute Niall Quinn scoring the only goal of a closely contested game against Linfield.

The first major opportunity of the game came Linfield’s way in the 12th minute as midfielder Christopher Shields found himself with time and space just inside the Coleraine half. He insisted on using this space wisely by driving forward into it before releasing a well struck effort 25 yards from goal that would’ve been heading into the bottom corner if it wasn’t for Gareth Deane’s smart stop.

The next attempt on goal would also come the visitors’ way this time in the 31st minute. Captain for the day Jimmy Callacher played a smart pass through Coleraine’s midfield line towards Kirk Millar, fortunately for the Bannsiders the winger’s edge of the box attempt went just wide of Deane’s post.

The visitors were starting to gain a foothold in the game with another goal scoring opportunity being created just a few minutes later. Excellent play down the left wing by Finnish born Eetu Vertainen saw him skip past Conor McDermott before playing a neat one-two with Matthew Clarke before Clarke himself blazed an effort over the crossbar.

Coleraine had their first attempt of the game in the 35th minute as Conor McKendry drifted wide into his familiar right wing position. The attacker created a yard of space by cutting inside before putting an inviting cross onto Matthew Shevlin’s head. Unfortunately the striker’s headed effort went inches wide of Chris Johns’ post. This was the last notable highlight of a half that didn’t have many as the game remained goalless at the break.

The Bannsiders would start the second half much brighter than they started the first with longer spells of possession and goal scoring chances being created.

The biggest chance in this early second half period came in the 49th minute as Andrew Scott done excellently well carrying the ball down the left hand side before passing the ball into the path of half-time substitute Lee Lynch. The midfielder then teed up McKendry with the forward firstly feinting to shoot before eventually releasing an effort that was well saved by Johns.

Despite Coleraine causing early pressure, Linfield had a big scoring opportunity of their own in the 56th minute. Shields did excellently by driving forward into the Bannsiders’ half before setting the ball off to Clarke with the defender delivering an exceptional cross into the box. Christopher McKee headed the ball from the resulting cross yards wide of the Coleraine net, however, the centre forward should’ve done much better with what would prove to be his final action with the striker coming off with an injury just a few minutes later.

As the half continued, both sides were creating chances with the biggest one of note coming in the 70th minute. Shevlin did exceptionally well by holding off the presence of Callacher before releasing Coleraine’s biggest threat of the second half, Scott down the left hand side. The skillful midfielder skipped past defender Daniel Finlayson’s challenge before cutting inside and releasing a goalbound effort. However, his well struck attempt was exceptionally saved by Johns, with the keeper at full stretch preventing the ball from finding the top right corner.

Despite both sides creating credible chances of their own, Linfield’s control of the game was becoming more evident. Their late pressure would pay off as they dealt the Bannsiders a late blow by taking the lead in the 87th minute. Substitute and former Northern Ireland international Kyle Lafferty did well down the right hand side as he entered into the Bannsiders box. The forward cut the ball back to fellow substitute Niall Quinn who fired his left footed effort through a crowd of players and into the back of the net.

This proved to be the last major action of the game with Coleraine failing to cause Linfield any late scares meaning the visitors took home all three points.


COLERAINE: Deane, Kane, McKendry, Carson, Farren, O’Donnell, O’Mahony, McDermott, Shevlin, Scott, Devine (Lynch ’46 mins).

Subs Not Used: Gallagher (GK), Mullan, McCrudden, Fyfe, Carlin, Gaston.

LINFIELD: Johns, Roscoe, Shields, Callacher, Millar (Quinn ’83 mins), McClean, Clarke, McKee (Devine ’62 mins), Finlayson, Fallon (Mulgrew ’75 mins), Vertainen (Lafferty ’75 mins).

Subs Not Used: Walsh (GK), Haygarth, Annett.


Lee Tavinder