Harpur the hero for superb Swifts.

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Harpur the hero for superb Swifts. thumbnail Hat trick hero Ryan Harpur competes for a header in the midfield.

ON a bitingly cold afternoon at Stangmore Park, a scintillating display from Ryan Harpur is sure to have warmed the soul of local fans as the midfielder grabbed his fourth hat-trick in four years.

Dungannon Swifts...4
Carrick Rangers...0

The midfielder netted three times in the first 25 minutes to put the game beyond doubt and help the Swifts on the way to their biggest league win since April.

Dungannon had a dream start as they were awarded a penalty on 10 minutes. Seanan Clucas was fouled in the box, with referee Andrew Davey pointing to the spot.

Up stepped Harpur, who confidently dispatched his penalty.

In the 17th minute he doubled the Swifts' lead. Ryan Mayse was given time and space to deliver a cross which found Harpur, who timed his run from midfield to meet the ball perfectly.

Just eight minutes later he had his third again and it was again supplied by Mayse.

The striker reacted quickly to a throw and made hisway into the box before he pulled the ball back for Harpur who nodded home.

The game's fourth goal is surely one Carrick's goalkeeper Harry Doherty will be keen to forget quickly.

Kris Lowe's speculative shot from 40 yards was parried up into the air by Doherty and the ball dropped across the line before he scrambled it out of the goal.

However, the linesman was able to spot the ball crossing the line and awarded the goal.

The crossbar then denied the Swifts their fifth goal of the half when Mayse's effort hit the woodwork after a Cormac Burke effort fell into his path.

The goals dried up in the second half as Carrick sought to avoid another humiliation, although Dungannon continued to create chances.

When Grant Hutchinson was fouled outside the box, Douglas Wilson's free-kick flashed just past the target.

A neat exchange of passes ended with Cormac Burke taking aim from outside the box but his shot was parried wide.

Late on, a good turn from Johnny Lafferty saw him break into space, but his finish was poor and spun wide of the back post.

A clean sheet was another highlight for the Swifts who welcomed back David Armstong for his first match since September.

Speaking after the game Dungannon Swifts' boss Rodney McAree was delighted with his team's efforts.

"Our first 30 minutes were very, very good," said Rodney.

"We played on the front foot, the way we wanted, the players carried out instructions to the letter. We had plenty of width, we made the pitch big, we got bodies in the box and were more of a threat than we have been recently.

"We managed to keep a clean sheet. It is a long time since we've kept one. David Armstrong came back in at centre-half and it was very pleasing to look so solid.

"It was also good to see Ryan Harpur get his three goals - he was outstanding today.

"For us to maintain our position or push up the table, we have to be winning games like this.We did that, we scored four goals and conceded none, so it has been a very pleasing after noon."

Dungannon Swifts - Stauart Addis, Kris Lowe, David Armstrong, Seanan Clucas, Jarlath O'Rourke, Dougie Wilson (Terry Fitzpatrick 60), Ryan Harpur, Grant Hutchinson, Cormac Burke (Tommy Lockhart 70), Ryan Mayse (Shea Campbell), Johnny Lafferty.

Unused subs - Peter McMahon, Ally Teggart.


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