Belfast Telegraph

Hegarty says Windsor draw a boost ahead of Swifts' final mission

Linfield 0-0 Dungannon Swifts

Confident: Dungannon defender Chris Hegarty
Confident: Dungannon defender Chris Hegarty

By Alex Mills

Defender Chris Hegarty believes Dungannon Swifts are in the best possible shape ahead of next week's BetMcLean League Cup final against Ballymena United at Windsor Park.

The Tyrone team benefitted from a trip to the plush international arena on Saturday and, even though they didn't leave with full points, they passed the test with flying colours.

In fact, only for a stunning save from Gareth Deane, who somehow touched a blockbuster from Jarlath O'Rourke on to the bar, David Healy's ailing Linfield could well have slumped to yet another defeat - they haven't won at home in the Danske Bank Premiership since December 23!

"The result was a great boost ahead of the cup final - we'll take a lot of confidence from it," said the former Rangers and Linfield man.

"I work in a shop in the town and we are selling tickets for the game. There are people coming in buying them that have never been at a football game before.

"We try to play an attractive style of football and we know we have the chance to achieve legendary status at Dungannon Swifts. It may not mean a lot to other people, but it means a tremendous amount to me and the rest of the boys.

"It will not be an easy game, Ballymena have been superb this season. They will be ready for it.

"We'll be putting our bodies on the line and do what it takes to bring the trophy back to Dungannon."

Unfortunately, it was another horrible day at the office for Healy and his troops.

"We were a free-scoring team last season, but we are snatching at chances at the minute and it's just not happening in front of goal," he said. "We are lacking a cutting edge in the final third.

"Without being too cruel to the players, when I'm picking a team for Solitude next week (against Cliftonville), it would be easy to leave quite a few of them out. That's where we are at."

LINFIELD: Deane, Stafford, Crowe, Callacher, Waterworth, Lowry, Stewart (Byrne, 46 mins), Millar, Rooney (Campion, 66 mins), Mulgrew (Fallon, 72 mins), Quinn. Unused subs: Robinson, Mitchell.

DUNGANNON: Addis, Hegarty, Wilson (Fitzpatrick, 85 mins), Armstrong, Mayse (Teggart, 77 mins), McElroy (Burke, 59 mins), Harpur, O'Rourke, Lowe, Clucas, Hughes. Unused subs: Coleman, Campbell.

Referee: Shane Andrews (Ballygowan)

Man of the match: Chris Hegarty

Match rating: 5/10

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