Linfield 4-0 Coagh Utd

Peter Thompson's hat-trick helped holders Linfield ease into the semi-finals of the Irish Cup as they proved too strong for minnows Coagh United.

The Blues were frustrated by Coagh's defensive strategy early on before Philip Lowry headed the opening goal on 26 minutes.

Thompson doubled Linfield's lead within two minutes after keeper Johnny York could only parry a Daryl Fordyce shot.

The striker brought up his hat-trick goals in the 68th and 74th minutes.

Blues manager David Jeffrey made two changes from last weekend's league win over Cliftonville with Fordyce and Billy Joe Burns replacing Mark McAllister and Michael Carvill.

Perhaps not surprisingly after being hammered 10-0 by Glenavon in the League Cup earlier this season, the Coagh management opted to start with five men in defence.

The tactics proved effective early on as the Championship Two pacesetters frustrated the Blues.

However, Coagh then suffered a blow when striker Aaron Campbell was forced off by apparent illness to be replaced by Glenn Clark.

After their stuttering start, the Blues did take the lead on 26 minutes as an unmarked Lowry headed home from close range after a Jamie Mulgrew corner.

The lead was doubled within two minutes as Coagh keeper York failed to hold a Fordyce shot and Thompson hammered in the rebound from close range.

Linfield dominated after the break as another Lowry shot was blocked and Fordyce headed a Damien Curran corner over the bar.

Thompson continued his remarkable Irish Cup scoring record as he hit two second-half goals to bring up his haul to 34 goals in 32 games.

Stephen Douglas' cross set up Thompson's second goal on 68 minutes and he completed his hat-trick after beating the offside trap six minutes later and smashing home from 18 yards.

Colin Davidson missed a Coagh chance in injury-time but it was a comfortable win for the holders.

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