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How Mickey Harte has saved Dungannon's goalkeeping crisis ahead of League Cup semi-final

 

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Glove affair: Niall Morgan in action for Dungannon Swifts in 2013

Glove affair: Niall Morgan in action for Dungannon Swifts in 2013

Tyrone GAA boss Mickey Harte

Tyrone GAA boss Mickey Harte

�INPHO/Tommy Dickson

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Glove affair: Niall Morgan in action for Dungannon Swifts in 2013

Niall Morgan will return for Dungannon Swifts in tonight's BetMcLean League Cup semi-final after Tyrone GAA boss Mickey Harte stepped in to solve a goalkeeping crisis.

The Swifts take on Linfield in the last four of the competition at Stangmore Park.

Their regular keeper Alex Moore - who is on loan from the Blues - is ineligible to face his parent club, while second choice Stuart Addis is injured.

But Morgan has come to the Swifts' rescue - after being given the green light by Harte - and will play this evening.

The 27-year-old previously played for Dungannon between 2011 and 2013, before leaving to pursue his dreams of starring for the Tyrone GAA team, something he has realised having earned the role of the county's first choice goalkeeper.

Last month, during the GAA close season, he played five games for Dungannon before resuming his Gaelic commitments.

But with Moore and Addis both out, he has been given permission to play tonight.

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Dungannon boss Kris Lindsay said: "Niall will play - it's a one-off and we are grateful to Mickey Harte and Tyrone for releasing him for this game.

"He has obviously played in a few games this season and Mickey has thankfully allowed him to play on Tuesday night."

Dungannon beat Ballymena to claim the League Cup - their first senior trophy - back in February, and won't give it up without a fight.

But they face a big test against the Blues, who have won the Cup 29 times, most recently in 2008.

Lindsay was in the winning team that day, but is desperate to pull off a shock tonight against his former club.

"It's a huge game - we are 90 minutes from a final and you want to play in those big games," he said.

"The chance to play in a final doesn't come along too often and you have to grasp those opportunities.

"Obviously Dungannon won the trophy last season and we want to retain it.

"It's a home semi-final, which is all you can ask for at this stage, and we'll give it our best shot."

Linfield, who are second in the league, beat Crusaders 4-1 at the weekend and start as big favourites.

But Dungannon will take encouragement after shocking the Crues at the same stage of the competition last season.

Lindsay added: "We know what Linfield are about, we know their quality, we know their ability.

"But it's a semi-final, the players don't know the next time they will get an opportunity like this and we have to approach the tie with a belief that we can win."

The Swifts have beaten Limavady, Warrenpoint and Cliftonville to reach the last four, but they could be without several key players tonight through injury.

Dougie Wilson sustained a bad head wound against Newry City at the weekend, ruling the midfielder out of tonight's tie.

Defender Jake Dykes, who came off early in the second half on Saturday, is also doubtful, and midfielder Corey McMullan has also been carrying an injury and will be assessed.

Meanwhile, striker Daniel Hughes, who has been out since October with an injury, has returned to training but is not ready for a first team return just yet.


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