Belfast Telegraph

Play-off showdown will be fight to the finish

Dixie Robinson is backing Dungannon Swifts to win the second leg of their play-off with Donegal Celtic this evening and secure their Premiership status.

The Championship side hold a slender advantage going into the return leg of the promotion-relegation play-off after a 2-1 victory in West Belfast on Tuesday night.

Now DC head to Stangmore Park tonight knowing they simply have to avoid defeat to secure their passage back to the top level of Irish League football.

Paul McDonald scored two minutes from the end of the first match, however the tie remains finely balanced and an away goal scored by Timmy Adamson could yet be crucial in deciding the outcome.

And Robinson, who was confirmed as Dungannon’s manager earlier this week, is backing his players to turn around the tie and secure a seventh season of Premiership football for the Co Tyrone club.

“The ball is in our court — a |1-0 win puts us through and we haven’t come away with an insurmountable task,” he said.

“The boys are a bit down but it won’t take long to get them going again.

“The away goal is vital. Nobody wants to lose games but, if we were going to lose, it was better to lose 2-1 than 1-0. We’re at home on Friday and, if we can’t win on our own ground, we don’t deserve to be in the Premiership.”

Donegal Celtic manager Paddy Kelly is also confident his side can finish the job in Dungannon — and has vowed to go for the win rather than trying to sit on their lead.

“We’re certainly not going there to play for a draw,” he said.

“We’ll be going to try and win the game. We are 90 minutes away from playing in the Premiership again, we believe we should be there, and it is a massive incentive for the players.

“They have an away goal but if we go there and get a draw or a win then we’re through.”

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph