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Cliftonville 0-0 Linfield

Mark McAllister and Ciaran Donaghy
Mark McAllister holds off the challenge of Ciaran Donaghy

Cliftonville and Linfield must replay on 21 April after their Irish Cup semi-final at the Oval ended scoreless.

Paul Munster had a couple of chances in a poor first half and after the break the striker saw his low left-foot shot saved by John Connolly's fingertips.

Referee Davy Malcolm waved away penalty appeals when Reds defender Declan O'Hara appeared to handle in the area.

George McMullan was sent-off after 66 minutes when he received a second yellow card for a foul on Jim Ervin.

The first clear scoring opportunity of the game fell to Munster on 27 minutes but his header from an Aidan O'Kane corner fell into the arms of Connolly.

Mark McAllister then fired the ball across goal but Munster could not make contact and when the ball fell to him a second time he fired wide.

After the interval, Alan Mannus raced out of goal and miscued his attempted clearance but Mark Patterson was unable to find the unguarded goal with his long-range attempt.

At the other end, McMullan spooned a right-foot shot towards goal but Mannus collected easily.

Munster's low shot from the left was then well saved by Connolly and Ronan Scannell reacted quicker than McAllister to clear the ball for a corner.

Moments later, O'Hara appeared to handle from the corner but the referee dismissed Linfield's penalty appeals.

Michael Carvill ballooned a left-foot shot over the bar and McMullan saw his left-foot effort tipped over by Mannus.

The Reds were reduced to 10 men with the sending-off of McMullan and then substitute Glenn Ferguson just failed to reach a Billy Joe Burns cross and the ball was cleared for a corner.


Linfield manager David Jeffrey:

"It was a frustrating day for us as we dominated much of the game, had a lot of the play and possession, but could not put the ball in the back of the net.

"The swirling wind did not help but we played well, created some decent chances and should have gone through.

"Cliftonville defended like tigers so credit to them."


Cliftonville manager Eddie Patterson:

"Linfield applied the pressure but it was a great performance defensively from us.

"The boys had to dig in to get a result but we are still in it and we live to fight another day.

"Now we have to complete the job on 21 April, hopefully with 11 men for the whole game this time."




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see also
Linfield 2-1 Cliftonville
13 Jan 09 |  Irish
Cliftonville 1-2 Linfield
03 Jan 09 |  Irish
Cliftonville 2-1 Linfield
04 Nov 08 |  Irish
Cliftonville 0-4 Linfield
27 Oct 08 |  Irish


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