Belfast Telegraph

Return to my old stomping ground added spice: Liggett

By Adrian Rutherford

Gary Liggett felt the ex-factor gave Dungannon Swifts the edge as they claimed their first win of the season against Glenavon at Mourneview Park. The striker scored one and set up the other to secure a deserved three points against his former employers.

It was a highly impressive performance with Swifts' attractive, attacking football easily outwitting a poor Glenavon side.

Their only complaint will be that the margin of victory wasn't even greater.

This was a fixture which pitted six of Dungannon's starting 11 against their old club, so it was always likely that one would have a telling impact.

In the end it was not one but two Lurgan Blues old boys who struck the decisive blows.

After Liggett had put the visitors in front, Ryan Harpur doubled their lead with a quickfire second.

Liggett – who now has two goals in three games – felt the return of so many former players gave his side an added determination.

"There's a lot of ex-Glenavon players and it probably does add that extra bit of incentive," he said.

"I thought we dealt with it well. Sometimes you can go back to your old club and try too hard, but I thought we looked comfortable and performed well."

Dungannon took the lead after nine minutes when Liggett beat his marker to meet a Josh Barton cross and score with a downward header.

He then turned provider, supplying the pass which Harpur drilled home two minutes later.

Twice last season Dungannon blew two-goal leads in this fixture, losing one and drawing the other, but this time there was no repeat.

Liggett, Harpur and substitute Andrew Mitchell – also up against his old club – all had chances to make it an even more convincing triumph however, after dropping points from winning positions in their first two games, Liggett was satisfied just to hold on for victory.

"We were happy just to get our first win of the season," he added.

"We were frustrated not to get it in our other two games so it was all about getting the three points.

"It would have been nice to get another couple but you can't be too fussy."

As for Glenavon, this was a big reality check for a side who have been tipped to build on last season's top six finish and Irish Cup success.

Player-boss Gary Hamilton said his team's performance had been unacceptable.

"Dungannon have a lot of ex-Glenavon players and we know, like whenever I play against Glentoran or Portadown, that they want to do well and prove a point,"he said.

"The last eight times we've played Dungannon we have conceded the first goal.

"Hopefully it will change sooner rather than later because there is no way we will accept performances like that."

With a tough trip to champions Cliftonville next up, Hamilton is demanding a big improvement.

"We've got a massive game next against Cliftonville, it's not going to be easy going there after this performance but hopefully we can move on," he added.

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