The Swifts continued their return to form with a win at Millbridge last Saturday against a workmanlike Annalong 2nds who played good football throughout.
The side were missing a number of regulars due to first team call ups and injury however those players who came in gave good accounts of themselves.
The game was very close in the first half with the best effort being a long range shot from Jay Smyth which was well saved while Johnny McGreevy had to twice palm shots away for corners. The Swifts had the best opportunity to take the lead when the ever reliable spot kick taker Alan Massey hit the cross bar from a penalty kick awarded by referee Alan McAvoy after Aaron McCaffrey had been upended by the Annalong keeper. Annalong almost took the lead themselves in the final minute of the first half when the ball rebounded off the Swifts cross bar with Johnny McGreevy well beaten.
In the second half the Swifts came out with a lot more purpose and they took the lead when Alan Massey’s 50th minute corner was side footed into the net by central defender Scott McNeill. Defensively the Swifts tightened up considerably with Greg Allison, Paul King, McNeill and Shaun Bonner decisive when called upon.
Jay Smyth in central midfield was ever lively and again brought a great save from the Annalong keeper with a second long range drive. Ross Bingham and Matthew Manly were causing a lot of problems on the wings while the hard running of Graeme McMullan and McCaffrey up front kept the Annalong defence busy. It was teenager Graeme McMullan who made it 2-0 when he ran onto a through pass to slot the ball under the advancing keeper.
The same player had another great opportunity late in the game but he placed the ball wide and his strike partner McCaffrey should have opened his account late on.
Substitutes Stuart Wilcox, John McMenamin and Lewis Lowey came on for the last quarter and they gave good accounts of themselves in what was a very good team performance which will have pleased manager Davy Teggarty.
This was an end to end league game that provided plenty of entertainment and perhaps more than enough excitement for the respective management teams.
The Swifts took the lead through Gareth Bingham from a David Kelly cross however Killough equalised. Jay Smyth made it 2-1 and the same player then increased the score to 3-1.
The home team reduced the arrears to 3 – 2 before half time.
After half time Killough levelled before David Kelly made it 4 – 3 but a resilient home team were soon back on even terms.
The Swifts were awarded a penalty which was duly dispatched by Alan Massey to make it 5-4 but they could not hold on and the home side got a late equaliser.
United entertained Dunmurry YM at the Millbridge on Saturday in a league game. Encounters between these teams have traditionally been close and this one was no different.
United dominated the opening exchanges and should have been ahead however the underside of the crossbar came to the rescue of Dunmurry YM in the 10th minute following great work by McMullan while their keeper produced an outstanding save from an Adam Herron thunderbolt from the edge of the penalty area that looked goal bound all the way.
The home side were playing some great football however the lack of a goal to provide that extra bit of encouragement and the absence of new striker Steven Kennedy through illness was a disappointment for the large contingent of supporters who were looking forward to his home debut.
Defensively United were well organised with Davy Boal, Ross Hayes, McCauley Foster and Adam Herron dominating however it was the visitors who breached the United goal when a forward toe poked a loose ball into the roof of the net giving Brain McMullan no chance.
In the second half, United surged forward in search of an equaliser with Hunter, Brashaw and Smyth linking very well however the Dunmurry rear-guard were in no mood to give up their lead.
The introduction of substitutes Craig Bowman and Scott McKibbin together with a change of formation gave United a significant territorial advantage with Cheever’s getting more service and the forcing a number of corners.
Smyth who is one of the smaller players on the pitch almost scored in the 70th minute when he rose to head wide under pressure however the visitors did not learn their lesson and when McMullan sent over another well placed corner Jay Smyth was in the right place to head the ball into the net.
In the closing minutes the game became very open and McMullan in the United goals had to be at his best defending a number of well-placed free kicks while at the other end Ross Hayes almost won the game for United when he climbed above the Dunmurry YM defence to head goal ward but the keeper managed to grab the ball.
This was a hard earned point for United however they fully deserved it for the quality of their play and percentage of play.