Manager Davy Teggarty entered this game missing regulars Jamie McPhail, Scott McNeill and Ross Bingham and goalkeeper Johnny McGreevy however despite this apparent handicap his youthful team put on an outstanding performance against their more experienced opposition.
Right from the start the Swifts were on the attack with brothers Alan and Graeme McMullan combining on numerous occasions to cause the visitors defence considerable problems.
Matthew Manly should have given his side the lead after 20 minutes when he was sent clear by David Griffiths but he shot wide.
The Swifts welcomed back defender Paul King and he combined superbly with Craig McMullan in central defence and fullbacks Ben Wilson and Shaun Bonner to cancel out the occasional threat provided by the Castleabbey forward line.
After a scoreless first half the second began in wet conditions with the Swifts also facing a stiff breeze however they continued to dominate play prompted by veterans Gareth Bingham and Alan Massey and but for the lack of a killer touch they could easily have been several goals up.
The Swifts took the lead on 70 minutes when Paul King curled a brilliant free kick from the right side of midfield onto the goal line which was touched in by David Griffiths.
Castleabbey started to get a bit more possession but resolute defending and some confident handling from goalkeeper John McMenamin who had an excellent game looked as if it would see the home side over the finishing line.
In the closing minutes of the game a high cross into the Swifts penalty area caused confusion and it fell for a forward to head home and gain a share of the spoils for the visitors. While the eventual outcome was disappointing for the Swifts they can take great heart from a performance against Castleabbey who are a team expected to challenge for honours this season. Most importantly the Swifts have managed to maintain an unbeaten start to their league campaign and if they continue playing attractive attacking football they could well be up amongst the challengers themselves.
The Swifts got their league season started with an excellent away win to Killough Seconds. Last year the two sides met in a thrilling 5 â€“ 5 encounter but this time the visitors edged the home side out with goals from Ross Bingham , Alan Massey, Paul King and David Griffiths.
The 2nds entertain Kirkistown 2nds at The Millbridge this Saturday 20th September in a league game.
The Swifts travelled to Banbridge for this league encounter with the local Youth Club team and they came away with an excellent victory.
Missing their strike force of Stevenson and McCaffrey through injury and suspension respectively manager Davy Teggarty was able to move the experienced Gareth Bingham forward to partner teenager Graeme McMullan and they provided three of the goals. Gareth Bingham opened the scoring on the half hour mark when he chipped the keeper after being put through by brother Ross who came into the team in place of McCaffrey. Graeme McMullan made it 2-0 before half time.
In the second half Alan Massey scored from the penalty spot after Stuart Wilcox had been fouled. Graeme McMullan got his second to make it 4-0 and Paul King scored the fifth while Banbridge managed a consolation.
The 2nds are at home this week to Tollymore in a league fixture.
The Swifts had Ardglass Colts as the visitors at Millbridge on Saturday and in an entertaining game they secured all three points with three excellent second half goals.
The first half was relatively even with Ardglass going close on several occasions necessitating a lot of hard work defensively from King, McNeill, McMenamin and Bonner in support of keeper Johnny McGreevy. Paul King had Unitedâ€™s best opportunity when his 25 yard free kick hit the inside of the post and rebounded to safety.
After a scoreless first half things burst into action when the always lively Jack Patterson dashed down the wing and crossed to Aaron McCaffrey who volleyed an unstoppable shot into the net. Patterson led the way again when another left wing cross was met by the hard working Stuart Wilcox who headed his team into a 2 â€“ 0 lead.
Patterson and his midfield colleagues Massey, Wilcox and Gareth Bingham were in total command at this stage but they were unable to increase their lead thanks to some excellent defending by the Ardglass team. Swifts manager Davy Taggerty introduced a trio of replacements in Nathan Farquhar, Matthew Manley and Ross Bingham and with Farquhar playing some neat football spreading the ball to all parts of the field it looked almost certain that they would score again.
The final goal came following a run down the right wing by Ross ‘Chris’ Bingham who unleashed a shot that looked as if it would land on the Downpatrick Road. In fact it dipped viciously under the cross bar and the Ardglass keeper at full stretch, managed to claw it out but the ever alert Matthew Manley ran in to fire the ball into the net before the keeper could recover.
This week the Swifts are away to Dromore Leisure Centre to play Banbridge Boys Club.
The Albion had a home game in the league against Carryduff Colts on saturday however despite goals from Paul King and a first for the club from teenager Jack Shepherd they were defeated 4-2.
The Swifts had a free week.
Congratulations to Scott Brashaw and Steven Jess for organising an excellent fund raiser last Saturday night which was very successful and many thanks to all those who turned up.