Sports

Swifts grounded by 10 man Coleraine

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Swifts grounded by 10 man Coleraine thumbnail Rodney McAree’s men start new season with disappointing defeat.

A DREADFUL final half hour saw the Swifts open their season with a 3-1 home reverse against 10 man Coleraine.

Dungannon Swifts...1
Coleraine...3

The Stangmore side conceded all three goals after their visitors had seen centre back Steven Douglas sent off.

Coleraine took the lead through a Ciaron Harkin wonder goal, before Stephen O'Donnell doubled the Bannsiders' advantage.

Impressive debutant Ryan Mayse halved the deficit before Swifts goalkeeper Andy Coleman made a mess of a clearance, got a straight red card and Ian Parkhill volleyed in the clincher for Coleraine from the resulting free kick.

Bizarrely, the Swifts had been much better prior to the Coleraine red card, and had enjoyed the better of the opportunities, if not the play, up to the 55th minute sending off of Douglas.

Coleraine took over from there, however, as the Swifts crumbled to a disappointing opening day defeat.

The Swifts' two main summer signings, right back Liam McMenamin and playmaker Ryan Mayse, both started and both had decent games, with the Swifts missing captain Ryan Harpur through suspension and centre half Chris Hegarty through injury.

The first half was a fairly even affair, with both sides having opportunities to score, although Coleraine had more of the ball.

It was the Swifts who had the first effort of the game, a speculative effort from Dougie Wilson from distance being fairly comfortably saved by Chris Johns in the Coleraine goal on six minutes.

It was then Coleraine's turn to threaten when a ball in from the left found Darren McCauley in space for the Bannsiders and Jarlath O'Rourke had to move across quickly to block McCauley's effort.

Brad Lyons was next to have a go for Coleraine, shifting the ball on to his right foot before drilling in an effort from 25 yards which was well saved low to his right by Andy Coleman in the Dungannon goal.

The Swifts then had the best opportunity of the half on 16 minutes to score, and it was their two new signings who very nearly combined to do the damage.

Liam McMenamin charged down the right for the Swifts and whipped in a fine ball to the far post for playmaker Ryan Mayse and his header from no more than four yards somehow came back off the post.

Mayse threatened again just before the half hour in spectacular style, teeing up a right wing delivery from Peter McMahon for himself before unleashing a blistering right forted volley which flew just wide of goal.

It was Coleraine who had the final meaningful effort of the first 45 minutes, Adam Mullan's fine sliding pass being met by the run of Jamie McGonigle and his first time strike across the ball saw his effort fly agonisingly wide of Andy Coleman's right hand post.

The Swifts had a great chance to take the lead within 25 seconds of the start of the second half, Ryan Mayse flicking a ball in behind the Coleraine defence for Peter McMahon to run on to.

McMahon decided to take the ball round Johns in the Coleraine goal but took it too wide and his attempted chip at the narrowing angle was easily cleared.

While the Swifts were struggling to break Oran Kearney's men down, they were handed a big boost on 55 minutes when Coleraine were reduced to 10 men.

Booked in the first half for a handball, Steven Douglas got a second silly yellow after bodychecking Ryan Mayse at the touchline in front of the Swifts dugout.

However, Coleraine responded by far the better of the sides and took the lead in stunning style nine minutes later.

Eoin Bradley picked the ball up on the Coleraine right and used his strength to easily hold off Jarlath O'Rourke before laying off to Ciaron Harkin and he unleashed a superb strike from 25 yards which arrowed into Andy Coleman's top right hand corner.

A further nine minutes later Coleraine doubled their lead.

This time Harkin was the provider, his left sided free kick being met by the head of centre back Stephen O'Donnell to make it 2-0.

Finally the Swifts were stung into life, with forward Stefan Lavery introduced in the place of centre back Fra Brennan.

And the sub made an immediate impact, sliding a lovely through ball into Ryan Mayse, who broke clear of the Coleriane backline and stroked home a goal on his debut with aplomb.

However that was as good as it got for the Swifts as things went belly up on 87 minutes.

Andy Coleman attempted to clear a back pass but struck the ball into the midriff of Brad Lyons. The midfielder attempted to run on to the loose ball to tap into an empty net, but Coleman hauled him back and referee Lee Tavinder had no option but to dish out the second red card of the afternoon.

With all three subs made, it was left to Jarlath O'Rourke to go in goals for the remaining minutes.

And he was very quickly picking the ball out of the net.

Coleraine sub Ian Parkhill took the resulting free kick and, although his effort came back off the wall, he was able to volley home the rebound in fine style into the top corner.

The goal killed off the Swifts' chances of getting anything from the game and leaves them in an unenviable position ahead of taking on the traditional Big Two this week, first travelling to Glentoran on Tuesday night before hosting Linfield this Saturday at 3pm.

Dungannon Swifts - Andy Coleman, Liam McMenamin, Fra Brennan (Stefan Lavery 73), David Armstrong, Jarlath O'Rourke, Douglas Wilson, Seanan Clucas, Paul McElroy (Ally Teggart 64), Cormac Burke (Nathaniel Ferris 83), Peter McMahon, Ryan Mayse.

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