Aaron Burns (05)

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Aaron Burns celebrates scoring Linfield's early winner (©INPHO/Brian Little)

BURNS HANDS BLUES BIG TWO BRAGGING RIGHTS

Linfield claimed the points from the first 'Big Two' derby of the season thanks to an early goal and then an excellent goalkeeping performance.

The Blues needed just five minutes to find a way through after Jordan Stewart swept a cross in from the left for Aaron Burns to direct a header past Elliot Morris.

Glentoran might have levelled soon after but were thwarted by Roy Carroll who saved from Robbie McDaid and Curtis Allen in quick succession.

Indeed, Glentoran continued to ask questions of the Linfield defence and it was really only Carroll which kept the visitors at bay as McDaid went close again from a James Knowles free-kick while John McGuigan was later denied by the quick reactions of the vastly experienced 'keeper.

It was a pattern that continued after the break. A Knowles set piece from the left which looked destined for the top corner was tipped over 

McGuigan was then thwarted again, this time by a Chris Casement goalline clearance just as the ball looked bound for the bottom corner.

Linfield might have snatched a second goal after Jamie Mulgrew slipped Kirk Millar into position but his powerful strike just went a little too high over the target.

BBC Sport NI coverage

Linfield: Carroll, Stafford, Haughey, Lowry, J. Stewart, Millar, Burns, Casement, Mulgrew, Mitchell, Quinn subs Robinson (not used), Adams (not used), Rooney (replaced J. Stewart 62), Garrett (replaced Mitchell 70), R. Clarke (replaced Millar 84)

Glentoran: Morris, Kane, Birney, Addis, Knowles, Allen, McGuigan, McMullan, Kerr, Redman, McDaid subs Kelly (not used), Delaney (replaced Knowles 72), Gordon (replaced McMullan 59), McNicholl (replaced Kerr 87), Ferrin (not used)

Referee: Arnold Hunter

Attendance: 4179

Tags:  Glentoran  Linfield