Report: Glentoran 2-3 Dungannon Swifts

glensDungannon recorded a superb victory in east Belfast on Tuesday night after a battling performance saw them edge out Glentoran, moving Darren Murphy’s side up to 9th in the Premiership table.

The game kicked off on a sticky and soaking wet Oval pitch, however the adverse conditions didn’t seem to affect the home side. Glentoran raced into the lead after just 8 minutes when left-back Jason Hill was sent through on goal and slid the ball beneath the onrushing Jonathan Curran. The ball threatened to get held up in the muddy goalmouth, however Glens striker Andy Waterworth poked the ball into the unguarded Swifts net.
With the wind in their sails, Glentoran began to pepper the Swifts goal. Jimmy Callacher fired a free-kick into Curran’s arms, and Waterworth wasted a great opportunity on 15 minutes where a heavy touch allowed Curran to gather at the big striker’s feet. The next opportunity fell to Stephen McAlorum, whose half-volley narrowly whistled past Curran’s post. But, just before the half hour and against the run of play, the Swifts equalised. Following a series of Dungannon corners, James Costello darted in front of his marker and flicked the ball home at the near post.
The goal seemed to spur the Swifts on and just 10 minutes later they took the lead in spectacular fashion. Michael McKerr collected the ball on the half-way line and drove forward, leaving the Glentoran defence in his wake, before finishing superbly past Elliott Morris from an acute angle. The Glens almost responded instantly, with Waterworth firing a volley over after being chipped through by Callacher, and the east Belfast outfit should’ve been level on 44 minutes. Curran spilled a cross to the feet of Richard Clarke, but luckily for the Swifts ‘keeper, Clarke had turned around and he was able to grab the loose ball.45555_10151488275043351_2013405167_n
With the home crowd growing more and more frustrated, Glentoran looked to level things up. On 53 minutes, Clarke’s side footed volley was comfortably saved by Curran, and a few minutes later Jim O’Hanlon’s strike fizzed over the bar after some great build-up play. However, Dungannon were always a threat on the break and Costello powered a 25-yard effort inches wide just moments after O’Hanlon’s shot.
After soaking up a lot of Glentoran pressure, Dungannon extended their lead on 69 minutes. A quick break led to the ball finding Costello and the big striker looked up, set himself and curled a delightful finish beyond the reach of Morris and into the opposite corner. Glentoran now threw everything at Dungannon’s defence, but they simply could not find a way to cut the Swifts back line open. With just 5 minutes left, David Howland flicked the ball home to set up a tense and nervy finale. However, Dungannon held out for a superb victory that sees them move up to 9th in the Danske Bank Premiership table.
Sam Braik