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BLUES REIGN WITH A SWIFTS 1-2-3; Jeffrey pores over Mulgrew inspired win at Windsor as champs keep title pace.

Byline: BY GORDON HANNA

LINFIELD 3

DUNGANNON 1

DAVID Jeffrey hailed the return of goal scoring hero and man ofthe match Jamie Mulgrew at a rain swept Windsor Park.

Victory eased the Blues to within two points of pacesetters Crusaders with two games less played and Linfield's jubilant boss beamed: "Our crisis is going very well."

Mulgrew's opening goal broke the deadlock of a fiercely fought contest in gruelling conditions and helped put a gloss on a previous record which revealed just one win in seven competitive games.

Second half sub Mark Miskimmin and Glenn Ferguson completed the scoring to avenge an earlier 3-0 defeat by Swifts in the Co-Op Cup.

Little wonder then that Jeffrey was well pleased, not only with the performance. but with comeback kid Mulgrew in particular.

"Mulgrew was magnificent, top drawer." he said. "We missed him during our lean run because he's our driving force.

"I thought he was first class, his goal excellent, his defensive play great and his passing exciting.

"His all round energy was remarkable considering he had been out for five weeks. Besides his goal which was straight from the training ground he provided a crucial cross for the third goal."

But Jeffrey was magnanimous in victory and also had words of praise for gallant Dungannon.

"It was never a 3-1 game, more a one goal game," he said. "I cannot understand how they have not won since beating us 3-0 in the Co-Operative Insurance Cup. They played some great football."

However Jeffrey added: "I thought we thoroughly deserved to win."

And in jocular vein he quipped: "Our crisis is going really well. In fact, I enjoy being in a crisis."

Rival boss John Cunningham was far from despondent despite defeat.

"I was happy with our display if not the result," he said. "I felt we were unlucky because we played with some style. We simply didn't get the breaks."

The energetic Mulgrew was the major difference and it was appropriate he should open the scoring with a cracking strike.

Michael Carvill pulled the ball back, Garret let the ball run into Mulgrew's path and the midfielder fired a beauty past Dwayne Nelson.

Dungannon were on top at the start of the second half as Linfield - in the words of Jeffrey - "were all over the place".

And the Swifts took advantage with just over an hour gone when Adamson levelled with a cracking shot.

However, the Blues hit back in the 67th minute with substitute Mark Miskimmin heading home from Curran's corner.

And Ferguson made it 3-1with a header from Mulgrew's tantalising cross.

Modest Mulgrew refused to take all the credit for Linfield's crucial win.

"It was a team effort and credit must go to all the lads on the pitch," he said.

"I was just happy to be back after being out for five weeks. This was a vital match to win but we don't need reminding that there is still a long way to go.

"We know what has to be done and we'll stick together and do it as a team.

"We were under pressure to win this game so it is a big, big win. It will give us confidence to carry on."

DAILY MIRROR TOP MAN

JAMIE MULGREW (Linfield)

MIDFIELDER'S opening goal - after spending five weeks out injured - paved way for Blues victory. A driving force for Linfield this season.

' It wasn't a 3-1 game. I was happy with our display, if not the result. We were unlucky because we played with some style'

'Our crisis is going well, isn't it? In fact, I'm really enjoying this crisis. We thoroughly deserved the win'.

CAPTION(S):

TIMELY TRIUMPH LINFIELD'S 3-1 win on Saturday was only their SECOND win in eight outings in all competitions; MARK OF CLASS Miskimmin celebrates his goal - to make it 2-1 - with Linfield team mate Damien Curran; GO ON MY ADAMSON Swifts celebrate Adamson's equalizer; BLUES JOY Linfield celebrate Glenn Ferguson's goal which made it 3-1
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Nov 10, 2008
Words:663
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