Linfield 1-1 FC BATE Borisov

Daryl Fordyce heads in the opening goal in the Windsor Park qualifier
Daryl Fordyce heads in the opening goal in the Windsor Park qualifier

Daryl Fordyce scored six minutes into his competitive Linfield debut as the Blues secured a draw in the Champions League qualifier first leg.

The new signing from Glentoran put the Irish League side ahead at Windsor Park with a close-range header.

The Belarus side rarely threatened but they levelled from Renan Bressan's 38th minute penalty after a controversial handball by David Armstrong.

BATE pressed early in the second half before the game fizzled out.

Fordyce connected with a Jim Ervin cross to give Linfield the perfect start.

The visitors dominated possession but created little and Bressan and Aleksandr Pavlov efforts failed to trouble Alan Blayney.

The lively Michael Carvill dragged a shot wide before the penalty was awarded when Armstrong was adjudged to have handled a goalbound header.

Bressan sent Blayney the wrong way to level but Carvill wasted a good chance to restore Linfield's lead by heading over from eight yards.

BATE pressed on the restart and Blayney kept out a Bressan free-kick before Maksim Skavysh lifted the ball over the keeper but it dropped on the roof of the net.

The Blues held firm and the Belarusians failed to trouble Blayney again while Fordyce had a late shot saved by Alyaksandr Gutor.

David Jeffrey's side may have conceded an away goal but they will go into next Tuesday's return leg with a chance of securing a surprise victory against a side which made the Champions League group stage three years ago.

Linfield: Blayney, Armstrong, Casement, Watson, Ervin, Lowry, Hanley, Fordyce, Garrett, Thompson, Carvill. Subs: Addis, Douglas, Billy Joe Burns, Aaron Burns, McCaul, McAllister, Kane.

FC BATE Borisov: Gutor, Filipenko, Bordachev, Yurevich, Alexander Volodko, Bressan, Nekhaychik, Pavlov, Likhtarovich, Simic, Skavysh. Subs: Chesnovskiy, Patotski, Kontsevoy, Radkov, Olekhnovich, Baga, Rudik.

Referee: Pawel Gil (Poland)

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