Belfast Telegraph

Match-winner Wilson says Swifts aren't fazed by semi-final challenge

Dungannon Swifts 2 Warrenpoint 1 (After extra-time)

By Adrian Rutherford

Douglas Wilson believes Dungannon are capable of overcoming Linfield and reaching a second Irish Cup final.

The Swifts will take on David Healy's side on April 1 for a place in the end of season showpiece.

Dungannon will be big underdogs against a team they haven't beaten in any competition since 2013, but Wilson insists they are ready for the challenge.

"Any of the games were going to be tough, so we didn't care who we've got," he said.

"We will go out and try and put in a performance and try and reach the final. It's a cup game and it's all about what happens on the day."

Wilson scored an extra-time winner as Dungannon edged past Warrenpoint in a hard-fought quarter-final battle. His shot from 25 yards crept through the gloves of goalkeeper Jonathan Parr.

The tie had finished level after 90 minutes, with an own-goal from Jordan Dane wiping out Aaron Traynor's opener.

Wilson added: "We knew what we were going to get from Warrenpoint - they are a very good side and, with the pitch being the way it is, it was going to be a battle.

"Warrenpoint are strolling in the Championship, and are ahead by about 15 points.

"They are basically the same team that were in the Premiership before. They have Premiership players, and so we knew it was going to be hard."

Dungannon will hope the cup win can help turn around their flagging league form. They have just one win in eight in the Danske Bank Premiership.

Wilson said: "We haven't been going as well in the league as we would have liked and haven't picked up the points we should.

"It is great for the club to get to a semi-final, and we'll look forward to it."

For Warrenpoint the focus now turns back to securing promotion.

They have a 15-point lead and seem set for an instant return to top-flight football.

Boss Matthew Tipton admitted the cup was of secondary importance, but was still disappointed.

"I have a standard of performance that I expect from players," he said. "It doesn't matter who you are playing against, you have to impose your game on them, and I don't think we did that today."

Tipton said too many players didn't show enough bottle, adding: "We felt sorry for ourselves.

"We conceded from an own-goal, which happens, and then we went into our shells at the beginning of extra time.

"The last 10 minutes of extra time, I felt we had given up - that is not the team I manage."

Dungannon:Coleman, Lowe, Hegarty, Armstrong, O'Rourke, Wilson, Glackin, Teggart (Harpur, 63 mins), Burke (Lavery, 70 mins), McMahon (McElroy, 55 mins), Mitchell. Unused subs: Addis, Fitzpatrick

Warrenpoint: Parr, King, McVeigh, McGuigan, Traynor (Dempster, 96 mins), Lynch, Dane, Bagnall, Moan, Croskery (Murray, 63 mins), McMenamin (Forde, 81 mins). Unused subs: McKenna, Maguire

Man of the Match: Douglas Wilson

Match rating: 6/10.

Referee: Keith Kennedy (Lisburn)

Belfast Telegraph


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