Michael O'Connor (15)

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Michael O'Connor celebrates knocking home Linfield's winner (©INPHO/Jonathan Porter)

O'CONNOR WINNER HANDS BLUES DERBY VICTORY

A Michael O'Connor goal was enough for Linfield to defeat Glentoran tonight at The Oval in front of the Sky Sports cameras.

O'Connor grabbed what proved to be the only goal of the game after a quarter-of-an-hour with a low drilled effort into the bottom corner after Joel Cooper had created the opening by cutting through the home defence.

Not long before that John Herron might have edged the Glens in front with an overhead kick, but his attempt failed to trouble Roy Carroll.

The Blues might almost added the second before the break, albeit wind assisted, after a Kirk Millar corner almost crept over the line at the back post only for it be cleared away to safety by Curtis Allen.

Allen had a couple of opportunities in the second half to bring the Glens back onto level terms. He headed over from a Ross Redman delivery before sending another effort not too far wide.

Later in the head Marcus Kane offered up a long range shot on goal from around 30 yards but this again went over the target while, for Linfield, Robert Garrett burst into the box but could only stab the ball wide.

The win sees Linfield maintain their unbeaten start to the campaign, and moves them within a point of leaders Glenavon.

Glentoran: Morris, Garrett, Kane, Birney, Herron, Allen, McGuigan, Pepper, Crowe, Gordon, Redman subs Nelson (not used), Gallagher (not used), McMahon (not used), Davidson (replaced Crowe 65), Ferrin (not used), McCarthy (not used), Byrne (replaced McGuigan 70)

Linfield: Carroll, Robinson, Callacher, O'Connor, Cooper, Millar, Clarke, Kearns, Mulgrew, Garrett, Mitchell subs Nielsen (not used), Waterworth (replaced Kearns 80), Stewart (not used), Fallon (not used), McGuinness (not used), Quinn (replaced Cooper 49), Deane (not used)

Referee: Arnold Hunter

Attendance: 4425

Tags:  Glentoran  Linfield