Dundalk and Linfield Play Out Champions Cup Stalemate
Dundalk and Linfield played out an entertaining 1-1 draw on Friday evening at Windsor Park in the first leg of the Unite The Union Champions Cup.
Shayne Lavery gave the Blues the lead however Daniel Kelly equalised to send us to Oriel on Monday deadlocked.
It was a cagey opening but Linfield took the lead in the 9th minute when Shayne Lavery twisted and turned past the defence and excellently slotted past Rogers to score.
Dundalk were the dominant force after that with most of the possession and the ball fell to Jordan Flores to have a go but his effort was just wide with the goalkeeper stranded.
Patrick Hoban was next to try his luck from outside the area but he snatched at it and the ball went well wide.
The Lilywhites were almost level when Gareth Deane somehow got a fingertip to Andy Boyle’s header from John Mountney’s corner however to send it onto the crossbar.
Despite their dominance Linfield were the ones who should have scored again when Joel Cooper found himself free in the box but his left footed shot was just wide of Gary Rogers near post on the stroke of half-time.
Flores came closer just after the break when his curling effort was inches wide from levelling but Dundalk would have their equaliser moments later.
Dean Jarvis played a superb ball through to Daniel Kelly who broke the offside trap and calmly slotted the ball to the net.
Kelly then almost turned provider when his superb cross was just in front of Hoban who couldn’t convert from 6 yards.
The game was played at a pedestrian pace for the most part afterwards with Kirk Millar having a shot deflected wide for Linfield with 10 minutes left on the watch the most of the action.
That was until Michael Duffy’s cross was half cleared to Chris Shields but his effort was scuffed into the ground and harmlessly wide.
A short back pass from Mark Stafford almost saw Georgie Kelly get in however Deane recovered brilliantly to clear the danger.
It looked like the Lilywhites were going to win it at the death when Jarvis’ cross was clipped in to Georgie but some superb last ditch defending from the hosts saw him denied.
That proved to be the final action as referee Iain McNabb blew the full-time whistle with the match ending in stalemate.
LINFIELD: Gareth Deane; Mark Stafford, Matthew Clarke, Stephen Fallon (Andrew Mitchell 86), Niall Quinn; Bastien Hery, Jimmy Callacher, Kirk Millar, Joel Cooper (Andy Waterworth 65), Jamie Mulgrew (capt); Shayne Lavery.
Substitutes not used: Ronan Ferguson (GK), Joshua Robertson, Matthew Shevlin, Daniel Reynolds, Chris Casement.
Booked: Stafford (90)
DUNDALK: Gary Rogers; Cameron Dummigan (Sean Gannon 63), Sean Hoare, Andy Boyle, Dean Jarvis; Chris Shields, Jordan Flores; John Mountney (Michael Duffy 58), Jamie McGrath, Daniel Kelly; Patrick Hoban (capt) (Georgie Kelly 81)
Substitutes not used: Aaron McCarey (GK), Brian Gartland, Robbie Benson, Dane Massey.
Booked: Shields (69)
Referee: Iain McNabb