Dungannon Swifts 1 Coleraine 2
Coleraine put an end to the Dungannon Swifts mini-revival at Stangmore Park, by hitting the them with a late sucker-punch.
With the teams tied at 1-1 after Ryan Harpur had cancelled out Paul Owens’ opener for Coleraine, the Bannsiders were awarded an 81st minute penalty which Curtis Allen duly dispatched to win the game.
Swifts had the best of the early exchanges with Mickey Ward and Sean Friars causing problems. The best of the chances fell to Friars who hit the side-netting after Johnny Topley put him in on goal. That proved to be Friars last play in the game as he went off injured a couple of minutes later.
Coleraine were efficient with their time on the attack and scored with their first foray. A pass from Stephen Lowry was back-heeled by David Scullion to Owens on the edge of the box and he fired a well-struck finish to the bottom left corner.
Allen twice went close for Coleraine midway through the half. He curled a 25 yard shot just wide, before poking a 12 yard shot inches past the right hand post.
The Bannsiders could have added to their lead before the break, Aaron Boyd and David Ogilby with chances, but neither could breach the Dungannon goal.
Swifts looked rejuvenated after the break and could have levelled in the 56th minute when Harpur hit a 25-yard drive that beat goalkeeper Michael Doherty, but not his crossbar.
Thirty seconds later Harpur got onto the end of a Marc Brolly cross but he side-footed over the bar from six yards out.
It was to be third time lucky for Harpur as he ran onto a pass from Ward before blasting the ball to the roof of the net from eight yards.
Dungannon had looked the more likely to go on and win but a handball from defender Michael Funston just short of the goal-line ended their hopes. Funston received a red card with Allen stroking home the penalty.
Swifts almost levelled in injury time as Brolly hit the bar with a volley and Ward’s follow up came back off the left hand post.
DUNGANNON SWIFTS: Morgan, Fitzpatrick, McMinn, E Friars, Gallagher, Funston, S Friars, Harpur, Topley, Ward, Brolly. Subs: Lavery for S Friars (9 mins), McKerr for Lavery (53 mins), O’Neill for Fitzpatrick (63 mins), Murphy, Montgomery.
COLERAINE: Doherty, Beverland, Ogilby, Lowry, Hegarty, Scullion, Harkin, Canning, Owens, Allen, Boyd. Subs: Clarke for Boyd (69 mins), McIlmoyle for Owens (79 mins), Cullen, McNulty, McVey.
Referee: Colin Burns (Newtownabbey).