The Swifts entertained table toppers Ballyvea 2nds in this league match at the Millbridge last Saturday.
Both teams appeared to be at full strength and they served up an exciting afternoon fair. The Swifts took the game to their more experienced opponents from the first whistle with Gareth Bingham and Graeme McMullan proving to be a constant threat to the Ballyvea defence which looked solid throughout.
McNeill, King, McMenamin and Bonner worked tirelessly in defence to keep the Ballyvea attack in check while in midfield McPhail, Massey, Manly and Wilson won a lot of possession with their quick closing down of the opposition.
A 0 – 0 score line at half time was not surprising as both teams generally cancelled each other out with neither goalkeeper having much to do.
In the second half the Swifts pushed on forcing a number of corners whilst Ballyvea were dangerous on the break with Swifts keeper Johnny McGreevy having to make a few timely saves.
The Swifts got the first break in the 70th minute when Graeme McMullan was upended in the penalty area however the usually reliable Alan Massey’s spot kick by was well saved by the Ballyvea keeper.
This seemed to spur the visitors on and in the next attack Ballyvea scored when a shot beat McGreevy and went in off the post.
Minutes later the Swifts were on the attack following the introduction of substitutes Ross Bingham and David Griffiths. They were awarded a corner and from the resultant kick Ross Bingham powered a header into the net off the underside of the crossbar for what was a deserved equaliser.
This was a competitive game played with spirit and sportsmanship throughout which was a credit to both teams.
The referee deserves considerable credit for his handling of the game and his consistent decision making.
This week the Swifts travel to Strangford for a cup game.