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Dungannon Swifts 2-2 Ballymena United: Ever-improving Andrew Mitchell has brand new goal in his sights

Dungannon Swifts 2-2 Ballymena United

By Adrain Rutherford

Andrew Mitchell has set himself a 25-goal target with Dungannon Swifts this season.

The striker showed why he is one of Irish League football's most highly-rated players with two excellent finishes against Ballymena.

Last term, Mitchell scored 22 times for the Tyrone club and he has set the bar even higher this time around.

"I've set myself a target of 25 this year - you have to try and better yourself every year," he said. "I got 22 last time and if I can get 25 this year I will be more than happy."

The 22-year-old has already netted four this season, including this brilliant double against the Sky Blues.

His first was particularly eye-catching, collecting a pass from Jamie Glackin and cutting inside before firing home.

His second came in the 10th minute when he finished off a cross from Kris Lowe.

But Ballymena are the league's second-highest scorers and Conor McCloskey got them back in the game.

He ghosted between the two Swifts' central defenders to meet Danny Wallace's cross, heading past Andy Coleman.

And the Sky Blues levelled on the hour mark, punishing some slack Dungannon defending when Cathair Friel rose unchallenged to meet Tony Kane's corner.

Mitchell admitted there was a feeling of disappointment among the players, but he also focused on the positives.

"It is frustrating but credit to Ballymena, they came out and they played very, very well," he added.

"They are a hard team to play against. David (Jeffrey) has obviously instilled a belief in them that they are not going to get beaten and they have come back and played really well.

"We will go away with a point, we're unbeaten in five and now we go to Crusaders next which is a big task."

Mitchell has been satisfied with his own start to the campaign.

"I've four goals so far, so it has been okay," he added. "This time last year I hadn't scored any so it is good to get off the mark early."

For inconsistent Ballymena however, it was another afternoon of frustration.

Boss Jeffrey had mixed feelings at the final whistle.

"Having been 2-0 down, if someone had given me a point I'd have taken your arm off," he said.

"I'm happy with the response of the players, disappointed obviously not to win, but you can't argue with getting a point down here."

DUNGANNON: Coleman, Lowe, Hegarty, Armstrong, O'Rourke, Wilson, Harpur, Burke (Clucas, 70 mins), Glackin, Teggart (McElroy, 70 mins), Mitchell (Lavery, 78 mins). Unused subs: Addis, Hazley

BALLYMENA : Blayney, Kane, Loughran, Owens, Ervin, McCloskey (Thompson, 76 mins), Millar (Falkner, 66 mins), Jenkins, Wallace, Friel, McMurray. Unused subs: Glendinning, Gage, Shevlin

Referee: Steven Gregg (Ballyclare)

Man of the match: Andrew Mitchell

Match rating: 7/10

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