Football: Hamilton's fine start

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The Independent Online
Northern Ireland. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2

Romania . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .0

GOALS from Stephen Morrow and Philip Gray either side of half-time ensured victory at Windsor Park last night for Bryan Hamilton in his first match since succeeding Billy Bingham as manager, writes Lyle Jackson from Belfast.

Romania's frustration showed in the dismissal of their captain, Gheorghe Hagi, midway through the second half for spitting in Gray's face.

Morrow, out of favour at Arsenal, headed Northern Ireland into the lead in the 42nd minute from a Michael Hughes corner and Romania, who are preparing for the World Cup finals, had another shock when Gray cut in from the left in the 49th minute to score with a low 25-yard shot.

NORTHERN IRELAND (4-4-2): Wright (Nottm F); Fleming (Barnsley), Taggart (Barnsley), Donaghy (Chelsea), Morrow (Arsenal); Wilson (Notts Co), Magilton (Southampton), Lomas (Manchester C), Hughes (Strasbourg); Quinn (Reading), Gray (Sunderland).

Substitutes: Black (Nottm F) for Hughes, h-t; Dowie (Southampton) for Quinn, 76.

ROMANIA (1-3-5-1): Prunea (Dinamo Bucharest); Belodedici (Valencia); Petrescu (Genoa); Prodan (Steaua Bucharest), Munteanu (Cercle Bruges); Sabau (Brescia), Lupescu (Bayer Leverkusen), Popescu (PSV Eindhoven), Dumitrescu (Steaua Bucharest), Hagi (Brescia); Raducioiu (Milan). Substitutes: Moldovan (Dinamo Bucharest) Petrescu, 70; Mihali (Dinamo Bucharest) for Sabau, 70; Stelea (Rapid Buchares) for Prunea, 73; Gilca (Steaua Bucharest) Popescu, 76.

Referee: K Burge (Wales).