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Linfield 0Cowdenbeath FC 1

Date: 19th July 2014 Kick off: 3:00pm
Competition: Friendly Referee:
Venue: Clandeboye Park Attendance:


Saturday 19th July 2014. Pre -Season Friendly Match.
Over 40 years ago a young lad named Jimmy Nicholl was poised to sign for Linfield until Manchester United came onto the scene and took the youngster from his home town of Rathcool to Old Trafford.
Much water of course has flowed under the bridge since then but Jimmy was delighted to have the opportunity to go home to Ulster and take us over to take on Linfield.
Unfortunately, Linfield’s home ground, the national stadium at Windsor Park, is undergoing a major redevelopment at present and so the fixture was switched to the seaside town of Bangor, a few miles away from Belfast. The venue was Clandeboye Park aka the Bangor Fuels Arena which is the home ground of Bangor FC and has a new 3G pitch.
Linfield, of course, just a few days earlier had played in their 100th European tie and had pulled off a thrilling 1-0 win over Swedish side AIK. Down at Bangor, we had some traditional British seaside weather – it was pouring rain.
Early exchanges were of the end to end variety without the keepers being too much troubled but as the game progressed we started to move the ball around in smart fashion. Johnston was very lively up front whilst Milne and Robertson were prominent with their creative play as Cowden took charge.
A clever inter passing move saw Milne shoot just wide in 9 minutes and then a telling Robertson pass set up Callaghan on the left for a move which ended with Adamson’s shot being headed behind for a corner.
Johnston then twice went close as Linfield worked hard to keep Cowden out.
The breakthrough came in 37 minutes when Milne broke free in the box. keeper Glendenning was left stranded as Milne cut the ball back for the onrushing Cowden strikers. The ball was turned into his own goal by Linfield’s Niall QUINN, trying to intercept it. This was to be the only goal of the match. Cowden then kept pressing until half time.
Both sides made changes at half time and as is now customary there were regular substitutions throughout the second half. Cowden’s tempo dropped a little as Linfield tried hard to get back into the match coming closest at the start of the second half when Thomson parried a sharp drive by Brown.
Cowden’s best chance in the second half was a header from Milne which crept narrowly past the post. Linfield’s final chance came when Nicholl saw his shot comfortably held by Thomson just before the final whistle.
The healthy travelling support from Cowdenbeath were thus able to celebrate a win and Cowdenbeath had maintained their unbeaten record in Ireland – having drawn 2-2 with Ballymena United back in 2010.
TEAM: Robbie Thomson, Dean Brett, Kenny Adamson (Iain Campbell), Darren Brownlie, John Armstrong (Chris Kane), Nat Wedderburn (Aaron Lynas), Lewis Milne, Jon Robertson, Sean Higgins (Kyle Miller), Craig Johnston & Liam Callaghan (Sammy Stewart).
LINFIELD: Ross Glendinning, Marty Bradley, Niall Quinn, Mark Haughey, Jimmy Callacher, Rodney Brown, Thomas Murray, Ross Clarke, Sean Donnelly, Sammy Morrow & Conor McMenamin. Subs (all used) -Gareth Deane, Matthew Parker, Michael Edgar, Jack Upritchard, Dale Patton, Jonny Frazer & Trialist.

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