This week The Swifts entertained Annalong Rangers at Langley Road. With a few players coming back after missing a couple of weeks through injury and work commitments they were looking forward to the game.
The early exchanges were frantic and untidy with both teams trying to get to grips with each other and the heavy surface.
It was The Swifts who struck first after great work from Jack Patterson on the right wing resulting in a throw in. Paul King came up from defence and delivered his trademark long throw, which was met at the back post by an accurate Gareth Bingham header that flew into the top corner.
The game was hotly contested in the middle of the park with McPhail making some timely challenges. Annalong forced a corner midway through the half and The Swifts failed to deal with it and it creeped in at the near post when it really shouldn’t have.
The Swifts were determined to get back in front and that they did with good work between Graeme McMullan and Dave Griffiths saw McMullan fire a shot in from the edge of the area to give the keeper no chance.
The Swifts now in control, had John McMenamin and Shaun Bonner letting nothing past them at the back with Scott McNeil making some decent runs forward down the left flank. This coupled with McGreevy in commanding form in-between the sticks gave The Swifts a solid base on which to attack.
And attack they did with Griffiths and Massey exchanging passes with Massey then releasing Gareth Bingham who beat his man and too fire in a low shot past the keeper to make it 3-1 at the break.
The second half was scrappy and the challenges were flying in from both teams. Ben Wilson, Matty Manley and Craig McMullan were introduced as subs and Wilson in particular gave the Annalong defence real problems.
After a couple of penalty appeals being turned down after fouls on Manley – Ben Wilson beat his man in the box and when about to shoot was brought down. The referee this time gave the penalty and Massey made no mistake from 12 yards to make it 4-2 after Annalong managed to pull a goal back to make it 3-2.
The Swifts were able to see out the remainder of the game quite comfortably to win 4-2. As seen today, competition is heating up for places and it’s important that the numbers increase at training to help the team continue their 8 game unbeaten start to the season.