League Opener Disappointment

By · April 22, 2011 · Filed in Match Report, News
Mid Ulster travelled to Mallusk to open their league campaign against Linfield on Wednesday 20 April.  On the back of two good friendly performances the girls were confident that they could make a good start to their campaign.  The game kicked off with both teams showing early signs of nerves and the football was scrappy at times.  Adele Gillespe got an early shot in for the Mid Ulster girls but at the other end only a fine tackle from Mykylea Stewart prevented Kirsty McGuinness breaking through for Linfield.  Both teams continued to create half chances, Gillespe went close again after good work from Simone Magill and Lisa Richardson.  Linfield then forced a corner but Karen Donnell was on hand for Mid Ulster to clear.  Lisa Richardson latched onto a great through ball from Brooke Jordan but the Linfield number 1 Nicole Adams got down well to make the save.  Mid Ulster suffered a blow after 23 minutes when Mykylea Stewart had to leave the field due to injury.  Another Linfield corner followed but Colleen McCullough was on hand to clear this one.  On 31 minutes Ruth Brown went close with a shot from the edge of the box after good work from Hayley O'Donnell.  Minutes later Linfield broke the stalemate when a wicked bounce resulted in a hand ball in the Mid Ulster box and the penalty was awarded.  Linfield literally had the rub of the green as the ball hit a divot in the six yard area to take the ball away from Deborah Rankin in the Mid Ulster goal and into the back of the net.  Mid Ulster tried to pick themselves up from this but it was Linfield who were in the ascendancy and the visitors will have been relieved to hear the half time whistle. The second half started badly for the visitors when a poor clearance was pounced upon by the Linfield strike force and Michelle Crawford made no mistake in scoring number 2.  Mid Ulster just couldnt get their foot on the ball and 4 minutes later a rasping shot wasnt held and Michelle Crawford was first to react again to score her second goal of the night.  After this devastating opening to the half the Mid Ulster girls tried to steady themselves and indeed they began to get into the game again.  Linfield however were on a high and it took some good defending especially from the experience Claire Brown at the back to keep them in check.   A final unfortunate twist was to put the game beyond the Mid Ulster girls when the referee played the advantage for Linfield after a foul on the edge of the box.  After the resultant shot went over the bar he mysteriously pulled play back for the free kick as he believed there had been no advantage.  The Mid Ulster support were bemused and Linfield certainly took the advantage when Kirsty McGuinnes curled in a cracking free kick to make the scoreline 4-0 to the home side.  Deteriorating light was to call an early halt to the second half but in fairness the game was over and the Mid Ulster girls will have to pick themselves up for next week home game with Ballymena.