Linfield fightback to claim point

Jul 26, 2023 | Uncategorised | 0 comments

Linfield 2

IDA Bermuda 2

Report by Stuart McCracken

Linfield rescued a point at Ballymoney thanks to a late brace from Ryley Sloan in the Minor Section on day two of the competition.

IDA Bermuda took at 2-0 lead into the break thanks to goals from Zydon Lightbourne-Furbert and Gladwyn Benjamin but ultimately couldn’t hold out for a valuable three points.

The Caribbean side made the perfect start to the game with Monday’s goalscorer, Lightbourne-Furbert notching his third of the tournament after five minutes.

The striker coolly slotted past Matthew Belshaw in the Linfield goal to the delight of the Bermuda bench.

This strong start continued with Lightbourne-Furbert continuing to be a nuisance for the Belfast side’s defence early on, going close in the 14th minute after battling past a host of defenders.

Bermuda doubled their advantage in the 27th minute when Benjamin fired in, after Kaiyuri Albuoy’s original strike cannoned off the crossbar.

Linfield made four changes at the break, with manager Andy Hunter unimpressed by his side’s first-half display. 

These changes made a huge difference with the Northern Irish side coming out the better of the two sides after the break. 

Bermuda’s star man Lightbourne-Furbert also departed ten minutes into the second period, which meant his side struggled to get out without their physical forward. 

With six minutes remaining Linfield got their first big chance of the match when Corey McCartney found space in the box, but the Blues player couldn’t keep his shot down. 

Linfield pulled one back in the 58th minute when Sloan swivelled expertly in the box before curling an effort into the corner of the net.

This set up a grandstand finish with seven minutes added on.

Bermuda faced an onslaught from Linfield in the remaining time and ultimately couldn’t keep their opponents out with Sloan bundling in his second after a goal-line scramble in added time.

Linfield continued to press for a winner, but had to settle for a point, which looked unlikely with minutes to go.