Irish League Round-Up: Wins for Glentoran, Cliftonville and Dungannon Swifts
Glentoran held on for a tight 1-0 win away to Ards at the Bangor Fuels Arena thanks to Curtis Allen’s second minute strike.
Ards 0-1 Glentoran
Moments after Gary Liggett missed a sitter for Ards, Allen gave the Glens the lead with a delicate lob over the onrushing Sam Johnston to give the visitors a dream start.
Both Liggett and James Knowles then had efforts hit the uprights for their respective teams, while Johnston had to save smartly from a Robbie McDaid header to ensure the deficit was just one at the interval.
It looked like it was 2-0 when McDaid had the ball in the net after the restart, poking home the rebound from Eoghan McCawl’s spilled free kick, only for the offside flag to deny him a goal.
Ards were doing more of the pressing late in the game though, aided by McDaid receiving his marching orders for a second yellow, and the hosts hit the post as the clock ticked into added time.
There was still time for Johnny Fraser to also be handed a red card for a foul on Conall Delaney as the Glens held out.
Cliftonville 2-0 Warrenpoint Town
Two first half goals set Cliftonville on their way to victory over Warrenpoint Town at Solitude, Barry Gray’s men triumphing 2-0 in Belfast.
It took the hosts 14 minutes to take the lead, Jude Winchester the man scoring the goal as he swept home Rory Donnelly’s header from close range.
Just before the break Cliftonville doubled their advantage as a well worked move saw Chris Curran nip in behind, with the captain coolly poking it past Alan Blayney.
The second half was rather uneventful as Cliftonville controlled proceedings and Warrenpoint failed to mount a significant challenge to the hosts’ lead.
In the end it was a comfortable afternoon for Cliftonville, whose good momentum continues with this win.
Dungannon Swifts 2-1 Ballymena United
A red card for Willie Faulkner was the turning point in this clash at Stangmore Park as Dungannon Swifts overcame Ballymena United 2-1.
Faulkner saw red for a handball in the box, from which Paul McElroy scored the penalty, while Ryan Mayse scored the winner two minutes later to cancel out Leroy Millar’s opener for the visitors.
Although Dungannon had the better of the opening exchanges, with full-back Kris Lowe volleying just over the bar from a clearance, they couldn't find the breakthrough.
Instead, against the run of play, Millar gave the Sky Blues the lead as he curled in a free kick at the near post in the 26th minute, catching out Swifts keeper Stuart Addis.
They nearly made it two just before the interval, Willie Faulkner’s goalbound header destined for the back of the net only for Chris Hegarty to clear off the line.
The decisive moment came 20 minutes into the second half - a Dungannon shot that was going in struck the arm of Faulkner in the box. Faulkner saw red and Paul McElroy converted the penalty to equalise.
And two minutes later the Swifts took the lead, Cormac Burke’s deep cross finding Ally Teggart who crossed back in for Ryan Mayse to power home from the six yard line.
Substitute Kevin Braniff had the best chance at an equaliser, turning and rifling straight at Addis with two minutes to go, but the Swifts held on for the three points.
Belfast Telegraph Digital