Alison Smyth scored twice for Linfield (Picture: Philip Magowan/PressEye.com)
Wednesday, 09 May 2018
Linfield Ladies booked their spot in the League Cup semi-finals thanks to a 7-0 win over Crusaders Strikers at Midgley Park.
The holders started strongly and Kirsty McGuinness got the Blues off to a flying start after five minutes with a powerful shot that clipped the cross bar enroute to the back of the net. McGuinness again went close a few minutes later, flashing a drive just wide of the post after a great ball from Megan Bell.
Crusaders had chances not long after the Linfield goal with Celine Curtis coming closest after narrowly missed a Grace Murray free-kick at the back post.
Linfield increased their lead on 28 minutes with a slide rule pass from Bell finding McGuinness on the edge of the box and she calmly finished. Two minutes later McGuinness saw her rasping drive strike the post.
Just before the break McGuinness turned supplier, carving her way past the visiting defence before finding Ali Smyth at the back post to head past Nicole Adams and make it 3-0.
The Blues started the second half powerfully and only nine minutes had passed before Linfield scored their fourth. McGuinness and Smyth combined well allowing the latter to hook the ball home.
Just before the hour mark Sarah Venney sent Rebecca McKenna clear down the right wing, McKenna crossed perfectly to Chloe McCarron who made no mistake from the edge of the box.
Linfield continued to pressure Crusaders with Smyth, Bell and Venney all going close but the Linfield goals kept coming with Louise McDaniel making it 6-0 in the 88th minute.
And there was time for one more Linfield goal, Lauren Robson's hard work paid off after she pressed and gained possession and fired past Nicole Adams to seal a fantastic 7-0 victory for Linfield.
Linfield Ladies: Perry, Magee, Robson, Burrows, McDade, Venney, McCarron, McKenna, Bell, McGuinness, Smyth subs McDaniel (replaced McGuinness 62), Myles (not used), McFrederick (replaced McKenna 62), McCarthy (not used), Hutton (not used)
Crusaders Strikers: Adams, Moore, McCann, McNeill, Hamilton, Bassett, Beggs, Watters, Murray, Curtis, Wilson subs Mearns (not used), O'Donnell (replaced Moore 64), Armour (replaced Beggs 69), Wright (replaced McCann 39), Murphy (not used)
Referee: Glenn McKinstry