Irish Premiership: Linfield 3-0 Portadown

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Linfield have won all five of their Premiership games to date

Linfield moved three points clear at the top of the Irish Premiership as Andrew Waterworth scored twice in an impressive 3-0 home win over Portadown.

The Blues have won their first five games of the campaign and must wait to see if Cliftonville can match their feat by beating Warrenpoint on Sunday.

Waterworth swept the ball home from six yards out in the 53rd minute and headed in the second 10 minutes later.

Guy Bates' left-foot shot was deflected past Billy Brennan for the third on 78.

The hosts dominated for much of the game and made a bright start, with striker Waterworth's attempted glancing header flying wide.

Kirk Millar went close soon after when Billy Brennan pushed his curling right-foot 25-yard effort onto the bar after Bates laid the ball off.

Mark Haughey then met Matthew Clarke's cross from the left with a diving header, which skimmed off the outside of the post.

Michael Gault and Matthew Clarke
Michael Gault and Matthew Clarke in aerial action at Windsor Park

The visitors came more into the match and Darren Murray went on a mazy run and beat a couple of defenders, before shooting straight at Ross Glendinning.

Former Blues midfielder Robert Garrett drilled a low right-foot shot wide of the post soon after.

Millar skied an effort over the bar for the home side, but at the other end, Chris Ramsey's looping header from a Chris Casement corner came off the bar.

Michael Gault then headed towards goal but the ball was scrambled off the line by Jamie Mulgrew.

Eight minutes after the interval, Warren Feeney's team were rewarded for a neat, patient build-up when Bates fed the overlapping Matthew Clarke and his left-wing cross was dispatched into the bottom corner by Waterworth.

An Aaron Burns drive was saved by the feet of Brennan, before Waterworth saw his low shot from a tight angle go past the post.

The forward did not have long to wait for his second though when he headed in from six yards after Mulgrew's initial effort was parried by Brennan, and the midfielder recovered to cross for his team-mate to convert.

Bates deservedly got his name on the scoresheet when he rifled the ball into the net after a good exchange between himself and Clarke.

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