Football: PHIL-ING SO GOOD; Sickbed Simpson Bags the Winner
Byline: By GORDON HANNA
Browne 35, Simpson 61
PHILIP SIMPSON dragged himself out of his sick bed to help fire Glentoran into the Nationwide Irish Cup Final on May 6.
The powerful defender hadn't eaten for three days and admitted he was compltely 'shattered' even before a ball was kicked at Windsor Park.
But the 19 year-old knew he was desperately needed because other more experienced players were not available.
Immediately after the game he headed straight home and back to bed in the hope of being fit for tomorow night's Setanta Sports Cup showdown with cross-town rivals Linfield.
Linfield are, coincidentally, also their opponents in the annual Nationwide showpiece.
But if Simpson produced a flashing right hook to send the ball rocketing past a helpless Chris Keenan to seal the tie a lot of credit also has to go to the veteran Mark Glendinning.
He chased what looked like a lost cause and headed a ball which looked to be drifting over the by-line back across goal for Simpson to pounce.
It was the knockout blow for a Larne side which gave its all especially in a closely fought and nervous first-half.
However, once Gary Browne - one of three full-timers on The Oval payroll - broke the deadlock, there always looked to be only one winner.
Browne can thank a defence which occasionally lost its concentration for the opportunity to grab his 16th goal of the season.
The former Manchester City starlet had time to twist and turn before firing home a shot goalkeeper Chris Keenan might have saved on another day.
Larne made a nervous start and could have been a goal down with barely a minute on the clock when Ross Handford attempted a back header.
He was unaware of Chris Morgan's presence and his blushes were only saved by Keenan who only just pipped the Glens ace to the ball.
Larne had a glorious chance to nose ahead in the 18th minute but when Julian Ward latched on to a pass which prised open the Glens' defence his shot was …
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Publication information: Article title: Football: PHIL-ING SO GOOD; Sickbed Simpson Bags the Winner. Contributors: Not available. Newspaper title: Sunday Mirror (London, England). Publication date: April 2, 2006. Page number: 12. © 2009 MGN LTD. COPYRIGHT 2006 Gale Group.
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