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'We fell short': Linfield knocked off top spot as Dungannon hold out for a draw at Windsor

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Dungannon's 16-year-old goalkeeper Connor Byrne kept his first Premiership clean sheet, denying international forward Shayne Lavery.

Dungannon's 16-year-old goalkeeper Connor Byrne kept his first Premiership clean sheet, denying international forward Shayne Lavery.

Dungannon's 16-year-old goalkeeper Connor Byrne kept his first Premiership clean sheet, denying international forward Shayne Lavery.

David Healy says his side fell short of their standards during Saturday's slip up at Windsor Park.

The manager had warned his squad that Monday's victory over Cliftonville at Solitude would mean nothing if it were not backed up with another three points at home to struggling Dungannon.

However, a Swifts starting XI that included four teenagers and three midfielders across the defensive line did enough to earn a 0-0 draw and a point at Windsor Park.

"We were poor in the first half and got slightly better in the second half," said the Linfield boss. "We created some decent chances but at the end of the day just couldn't break them down.

"Today we fell a wee bit short of the standards.

"It's disappointing not to get the three points. I thought we did enough."

The Blues, and in particular international forward Shayne Lavery, did everything but score. The former Everton forward hit the post, forced an impressive stop from 16-year-old goalkeeper Connor Byrne, was denied by impressive teenage full-back Caolin Coyle's goal-saving tackle and twice headed over.

Mark Stafford also went close on a couple of occasions while substitute Kirk Millar dragged an effort wide.

Truth be told, too many of those opportunities were created by Andy Mitchell's wicked set pieces.

While Mitchell's sheer quality should have been enough for victory, outside his deliveries, the Blues struggled to create.

Healy was quick to note that Linfield are still only two points of table-topping Glentoran with a game in hand on their rivals.

"It's disappointing but there are 14 games left and we are still in and around the mix where we should be and want to be," said Healy. "It would be lovely to be a few points better off but there are other teams in there fighting.

"Some of the others won today so it's competitive. It should go down to the wire which the neutrals should be excited about."

Dungannon boss Kris Lindsay, meanwhile, was delighted to improve a recent run that has seen his side win only four points from 14 outings and claw five clear of the bottom two.

"We've a lot of players missing and we came here down to the bare bones. I thought we were excellent. Our shape, discipline and work-rate were fantastic. Yes we rode our luck but it's a great result for us.

"Dungannon has always had a good youth set-up and we continue to do that. With young players you get inconsistency but they dealt with the pressure very well today. Now it's up to us to nurture that.

"They have all the ability in the world and if they get their heads down, they will all have big futures in the game."

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