Andy Waterworth bags five in Linfield rout over Moyola Park in Bet McLean Cup
There was just no stopping Andy Waterworth at Windsor Park last night.
The big 31-year-old striker was in devastating form, grabbing a sensational five goals as Linfield easily booked their slot in the third round of the BetMcLean Cup.
Little Moyola were thrilled to go in at half-time only one goal in arrears, but once the flood gates opened after the turnaround, there was simply no hiding place.
Linfield new boy, Michael O’Connor also got in on the scoring act, along with defender Mark Stafford and substitute Stephen Fallon in what could only be described as an easy night at the office.
Surprisingly, the Linfield faithful had to wait until 29 minutes for the dependable Waterworth to break the deadlock.
Kirk Millar was the provider with a sublime cross from the right and the big striker got up to power home a wonderful header.
Before that, it was total domination by the home team. They opened up the visiting defence time and time again, but their finishing let them down just when it mattered.
They also came up against an inspired goalkeeper in Marcin Farnoik, who established himself with a number of excellent interventions.
The onslaught began as early as the 12 minutes when Millar and O’Connor combined to create an opening for debutant Jonathan Smith, whose low drive was pawed to safety by Farnoik.
Millar was a constant threat. After another clever dash down the right, he sent in a great cross that O’Connor could only head over the crossbar. Big defender Mark Stafford joined his forwards to meet a Niall Quinn free kick, but his effort met a similar fate as his team mate’s just moments earlier.
Moyola failed to crumble. Millar again was the provider for O’Connor, who failed to get a header on target before Farnoik got down brilliantly to beat away a low effort from Stephen Fallon.
But the crowd did have something to cheer two minutes later with Waterworth’s opener.
Linfield should have been out of sight eight minutes before the break when the O’Connor et fly with a stunning 20-yard drive that cannoned back off the crossbar.
And, on 42 minutes, Quinn’s delightfully weighted pass sent Fallon scampering the box only to see his low drive completely deceive Farnoik but ricochet off a post.
The Blues came out with all guns blazing after with O’Connor scoring on 50 minutes. Stafford was the provider with a penetrating cross from the left and the big striker powered home a great header.
Waterworth grabbed his second of the night nine minutes later when he touched home a Millar corner kick that was flicked into the box by Jimmy Callacher.
And, the big man completed his hat-trick 60 seconds later, flicking home another assist from that man Stafford.
He still wasn’t finished. He was in the right place on 62 minutes to stab home a cross from Fallon.
Stafford got the goal he richly deserved 10 minutes from time when he roared forward to power in another one of those tantalising crosses from Millar.
Waterworth struck again on 88 minutes, romping through the middle to show low into the bottom corner.
Substitute Stephen Fallon then finished the job 60 second later when the blockbuster ballooned the net.
LINFIELD: Deane, Stafford, Callacher, Waterworth, O’Connor, Millar, Fallon, Smith (Stewart 58), Garrett, Quinn (Neilson 58), Casement.
Unused subs: Carroll, Clarke, Doyle, Mitchell, Reynolds.
MOYOLA PARK: Farnoik, McAllister, Harris (Morgan 65), McQuillan, McClure, Graham (Curry 76), Greer, Forrest, Quigg, Tolan, O McAuley (P McAuley 61).
Unused subs: Doey, Kelly
REFEREE: Shane Andrews.