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'Worth it! Linfield's Jeffrey, we deserved to win.

Portadown 1 LINFIELD 2 CLIFTONVILLE 4 GLENTORAN 1 BY MARK MCINTOSH LINFIELD boss David Jeffrey praised his side's mental strength after they dodged a potential bullet at Portadown yesterday.

The Blues maintained their two-point lead at the top of the Danke Bank Premiership thanks to two Andrew Waterworth strikes at Shamrock Park.

Jeffreys men have come under scrutiny several times this season but they continue to lead the way.

"Our mental attitude has been questioned and I think the players showed exactly what they are about," said Jeffrey.

"We knew what a tough place Portadown would be with them trying to secure third place or better, but we made the most incredible start to the game and thoroughly deserved our win.

"I don't look at it has one down and seven games to go, our focus was simply on getting three points because nothing else was good enough."

Waterworth opened the scoring after just 25 seconds when he pounced from close range after Philip Lowry's shot had rebounded off the post.

However, the Ports clawed their way back into the contest three minutes before the break.

And when the equaliser came, what a strike it was from Sean Mackle. The midfielder let fly with an unstoppable half volley into the top corner from 16 yards.

It was all set up for an almighty battle after the break but the Ports failed to show up.

The Blues was denied several times and Lowry hit the underside of the crossbar before Waterworth grabbed his second 17 minutes from time, heading in after Lowry had headed across goal.

Moments later however, Lowry hobbled off with a hamstring strain.

"Philip's injury is a concern given the form he has been in. He felt it in the first minute when we scored but played on. We will assess him this week," added Jeffrey.

Ports boss Ronnie McFall was furious with his side's defending.

"Both goals were an absolute shambles," he said. "Even when we conceded in the first minute we had great chances before Sean Mackle's wonder goal.

"But we didn't turn up for the second half and gave away another ridiculous goal. When you do that against Linfield you will get what you deserve."

CAPTION(S):

CELEBRATE: Linfield players enjoy the winner

WHEN WHERE KICK-OFF DAM BURSTS Linfield's Andrew Waterworth scores the winner at Portadown
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Date:Mar 9, 2014
Words:391
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