McCauley punishes determined Swifts

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

McCauley punishes determined Swifts thumbnailSeanan Clucas battles with Coleraine’s Darren McAuley.

DESPITE a valiant effort, Dungannon Swifts were again left with the bitter taste of defeat in their mouths as Coleraine came away with the three points at the Showgrounds.

Dungannon Swifts...0


Indeed, it took an outstanding display from Coleraine's Chris Johns to keep the Swifts at bay this, however will be cold comfort for their faithful fans.

Played on a frosty afternoon, the game was just one of two Danske Bank Premier League fixtures played this weekend.

The game saw Chris Hegarty return to central defence, with Dougie Wilson recalled in the centre of the park. Both Liam McMenamin and Paul McElroy missed out through injury.

The hosts started brightly with Brad Lyons forcing Staurt Addis into a save inside two minutes.

The Swifts responded with two chances inside a minute as Ryan Harpur headed wide and Grant Hutchinson forced Chris Johns into a save.

However, it was Coleraine who broke the deadlock in the 35th minute.

Josh Carson crossed the ball into the box and McCauley took a touch before lashing a low shot past the 'keeper into the bottom corner for his eleventh of the season.

As a sleet shower saw temperatures dip even lower at the start of the second half, the Swifts started as if the temperature had frozen them.

 The Bannsiders almost doubled their advantage just two minutes into the half as Carson latched on to a loose ball on the edge of the box, but his effort whistled past the upright.

Moments later, Darren McCauley set off on a  weaving run through the Swifts defence, beating several players before finding space for a short, but he could not get any purchase on his effort.

Oran Kearney's men had more purpose about their play at the start of the second half and squandered another opportunity to wrap up the game on 63 minutes.

Brad Lyons won a superb tackle on the half way line to release McGonigle down the left, Carson was free in the middle for a tap in, but the striker delayed his pass and the chance passed.

Dungannon began to rally and, in truth, dominated the closing stages of the game.

In the 74th minute substitutes Peter McMahon and Ryan Mayse combined as Mayse stung John's hand with a powerful effort.

Coleraine went straight up the other end and wasted another opportunity as McCauley fired over after making space for the shot in the box.

Mayse drew another great save from Johns after Cormac Burke picked him out at the back post in the 78th minute.

However, despite their late dominance, they were almost caught out again in the 86th minute as Smith's clever pass sent Lyons clear before he was obstructed by Wilson.

Two minutes later McCauley skied another effort, before Parkhill fired wide from the angle after rounding Addis.

Speaking after the game Swifts boss Rodney McAree expressed his frustration.

"We came with a plan and tried to stay in the game," he said. "We wanted to introduce three forwards at the end of the game  to try and win it.

"Unfortunately it didn't pay off, but we came close. It is two weeks where we have done extremely well performance wise, but we have nothing to show for it.

"Coleraine had a lot of shots on goal but Staurt Addis hasn't been overly tested or worked. We had a good couple of opportunities in the second half that probably landed at an area which was comfortable for Chris Johns.

"If we keep putting in these types of performances in, then we will be alright.

"Ultimately it is about results and we have to turn performances into points."

Meanwhile, at the time of going to print, tonight's (Tuesday's) Irish Cup semi-final clash with Crusaders at Stangmore Park looks in doubt as a result of the recent freeing weather.

A spokesperson for the Northern Ireland Football League confirmed they will be in regular contact with the Swifts regarding the condition of the playing surface in the run up to kick-off.

Dungannon Swifts: Stuart Addis, Kris Lowe, Chris Hegarty (Peter McMahon 70), David Armstrong, Jarlath O'Rourke, Douglie Wilson, Seanan Clucas, Grant Hutchinson (Ryan Mayse, 55), Ryan Harpur, Ally Teggart (Cormac Burke 55), Lafferty.

Subs not used: Andy Coleman, Terry Fitzpatrick.


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