Belfast Telegraph

Boss McAree is delighted to see Swifts hit back after criticism

Dungannon Swifts 2 Cliftonville 2

By Adrian Rutherford

Rodney McAree reflected on how quickly things change in football after Dungannon bounced back with a gutsy 2-2 draw against Cliftonville.

The Swifts head coach had been despondent after the previous week's defeat at Glenavon ended their top six ambitions but fast forward seven days and they produced an altogether different display against the Reds.

"A week is such a long time in football," he said. "The players deserved the criticism they took after the Glenavon game, but they deserve a lot of praise this weekend."

It looked grim for Dungannon when they fell behind inside four minutes. Daniel Hughes' rasping shot was parried by Andy Coleman and it dropped perfectly for Aaron Haire to fire home.

But two goals in a minute from Andrew Mitchell turned the game around. He levelled in the 25th minute with a clever finish and, 60 seconds later, put Dungannon in front, forcing the ball home after an effort from Cormac Burke had hit the bar.

Cliftonville made it 2-2 in the second half when Hughes headed home after a cross from Martin Donnelly.

Visiting boss Gerard Lyttle was also looking for a response after last Monday night's defeat against Linfield. He saw signs of progress too, saying: "We got a bit of a reaction. We started off as I wanted. We got on the front foot and got an early goal.

"But we switched off, two minutes of madness where we let markers go and our decision-making was poor. We showed a bit of desire."

DUNGANNON: Coleman, Burns, Brennan, Hegarty, O'Rourke, Fitzpatrick (Glackin, 80 mins), Harpur, Teggart, Burke (Lavery, 90 mins), Lockhart (Lowe, 63 mins), Mitchell. Unused subs: Addis, McMahon.

CLIFTONVILLE: Burke, Bonner, Finnegan, Curran, Nelson, Cosgrove, Ives, Haire (J Donnelly, 46 mins), M Donnelly (Lavery, 68 mins), Garrett, Hughes (Reynolds, 73 mins). Unused subs: Seydak, Winchester.

Referee: Ian McNabb (Newtownabbey)

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