The Swifts picked up a hard won three points at the Civil Service playing fields on Tuesday 16th April.
In the previous week’s drawn game they had faced a Kilroot team containing a lot of first teamers and this was no different however securing the three points was made all the sweeter by having to play at their very best.
In the first half Gareth Bingham saw a shot cannon off the cross bar while Darren Fitzsimmons was blown for offside after he touched in Aaron McCaffrey’s goal bound shot. Civil Service were at their most dangerous from corner kicks and the Swifts defence of Gibson, Majury, Craig McMullan and King had to work hard while John McMenamin in goals made a number of important saves and catches. He could do little when the Civil Service took the lead on the stroke of half time.
In the second half a more determined Swift took the field and they equalised after 5 minutes when Greg Allison broke free down the left and crossed brilliantly for Fitzsimmons to score.
Midway through the half substitute Ian McMullan was introduced and he made an immediate impact when he scored with a header from Fitzsimmons right wing cross.
Graham McMullan was introduced on the right wing and he enjoyed some decent possession and late in the game he was fouled on the outside of the penalty area. Civil Service had at this stage got back into the game and the Swifts needed a goal for a cushion. Danny Reid in one of his all too rare appearances scored with an outstanding right foot shot that beat the Civil Service keeper all ends up to sail into the roof of the net.
This was an excellent performance with the younger players such as McMenamin, Graham McMullan and Greg Allison putting in stellar performances.
The next few weeks will be frenetic for the Swifts with a stream of Saturday and midweek games to the end of the season.
Last Saturday goals from Darren Fitzsimmons and Aaron McCaffrey secured a 2-2 draw away to St Teresa’s.
The Swifts recommenced their programme of league fixtures at Ballywalter on Saturday which will be intensive as they clear up a backlog due to a considerable number of postponements.
The home side started brightly with Jason Stafford having to field a few long crosses and shots however it was the Swifts who took an early lead when Scott McKibbin nipped in to toe poke a loose ball into the net. He and strike partner Darren Fitzsimmons were causing mayhem with their darting runs onto passes from midfielders Gareth Bingham and Ian Boal.
Midway through the first half Scott McKibbin got his second and the Swifts looked as if they were on their way to a victory. Indeed this looked even more likely when the Ballywalter central defender was dismissed for an unprovoked punch into the face of Scott McKibbin for which he duly received a red card.
In the second half Ballywalter threw everything at the Swifts and their defence of Paul and Steven King, Davy Dunlop and Craig McMullan had to be on their toes however the team conceded two goals in the 60th and 75th minute and things looked ominous.
Despite the waves of attack from the home team the Swifts were a constant threat from the runs of Greg Allison who had an excellent game and the introduction of teenager Graham McMullan also proved an excellent move.
The long throws of Paul King were a useful weapon throughout and it was from one of these that Ian Boal scored when he thundered a header into the net in the 88th minute. This was a lead that the Swifts could not sustain as an over eager tackle from Steven King gave Ballywalter a penalty from which they scored.
While it was disappointing not to get all three points manager Johnny Reid will be pleased with the teams overall performance.
The Swifts continued their improvement in form with a resounding victory over Civil Service at the Millbridge on Saturday. From the kick off the Swifts were quickly on the attack forcing a few corners and generally dominating possession. They took the lead on ten minutes when great work on the left wing by Alan McMullan and Jordan Hayes, who was making his Swifts debut, released Greg Allison and his cross ball was hooked into the net by Aaron McCaffrey.
It was 2-0 five minutes later when the Civil Service goalkeeper needlessly bundled over Jordan Hayes in the penalty area and Darren Fitzsimmons scored from the spot.
Five minutes later Aaron McCaffrey was again on the spot to score following good work in midfield from Stevenson and Gray.
At the start of the second half Civil Service stepped up a gear but this passage of play was short-lived as the Swifts defence of Alan and Craig McMullan, Majury, Dunlop and second half substitute Gary McCracken were in fine form ensuring that veteran goalkeeper Johnny McGreevy had a fairly quiet afternoon and a clean sheet.
Stevenson in midfield was making strong runs through midfield and in the 65th minute he got to the edge of the penalty area where he unleashed a bullet of a shot into the net without the Civil Service keeper moving a muscle to make it 4-0.
In the closing minutes the same player intercepted a poor clearance to skip into the penalty area and chip the ball into the net past the on rushing keeper for his team’s fifth goal.
This week the Swifts travel to Bryansburn Rangers 2nds.