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Dungannon Swifts banish away days blues and now manager Dean Shiels wants his side to continue to soar

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Cahal McGinty opened the scoring for Dungannon Swifts on Saturday. Credit: Richard Hood

Cahal McGinty opened the scoring for Dungannon Swifts on Saturday. Credit: Richard Hood

Cahal McGinty opened the scoring for Dungannon Swifts on Saturday. Credit: Richard Hood

After six and a half hours without a goal on their travels, the famine was broken by a header which is unlikely to make any highlights reel — but no-one in the Dunngannon Swifts camp was complaining.

Cahal McGinty’s 21st minute opener at the Loughview Leisure Arena was no-more than Swifts deserved and when Darragh McBrien doubled their lead with another close-range strike at the start of the second half, a win against a lacklustre Carrick Rangers side was almost assured.

David Cushley set up a nervous finale when he converted an 85th minute penalty and Carrick were convinced they should have had another in the fifth minute of stoppage time when Emmet McGuckin was hauled back, but as Rangers assistant coach Scott Irvine admitted afterwards “we didn’t deserve anything”.

The victory moved Swifts six points clear of basement side Warrenpoint Town and they can increase that tomorrow night when Barry Gray’s side visit Stangmore Park.

“It’s a massive game, another home game, another opportunity to pick up three points. You have to earn every point in this league and I thought we earned it today,” said Swifts boss Dean Shiels.

“I was very pleased with the first half, we moved Carrick around, opened the pitch up and played through them, so happy to go in one ahead and then delighted to go two in front so quickly.

“The second half was more scrappy, but I thought that was because we dropped too deep and Carrick are such a hard opponent to play against. A lot of teams will come here and struggle.”

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It had been a struggle for Dungannon over the last month with successive away games against Linfield, Cliftonville, Coleraine and Glentoran so it was important they take advantage of two teams either side of them in the Danske Bank Premiership table. It’s one down, one to go.

Carrick, worryingly, are heading in the opposite direction having now lost successive home games and their next four are Glentoran, Cliftonville, Larne and Crusaders.

“That’s two weeks in-a-row we haven’t shown up at home,” said Irvine, standing in for boss Stuart King who was red-carded at Windsor Park on Tuesday night. “Yet, I thought the boys were super at Linfield.

“Some lads looked a big leggy, we didn’t win enough first or second balls, but Dungannon wanted it a bit more for 60-70 minutes.

“You can’t give away sloppy goals like we did. They were massively avoidable. And I don’t understand how we didn’t get a second penalty.”

CARRICK RANGERS: Hogg; Forsythe, Surgenor, Ervin, Tilney; Anderson (Kalla 79), Glendinning; Gawne, Cushley, Cherry (E Kelly 53), Gibson (McGuckin 53).

Unused subs: Shields, Mulholland, Hoy, Quinn.

DUNGANNON SWIFTS: Quinn; Coyle, C McGinty, Cowan; McGee, Oi Smyth, Glynn; Campbell, Mayse (S McGinty 90), McBrien (Od Smyth 69); McCready (Gallagher 78).

Unused subs: Groogan, McAleer, Glenny, Convie.

Referee: Raymond Crangle (Belfast)

Man of the match: Ryan Mayse

Match rating: 5/10


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