Knockbreda 0 Dungannon Swifts 2
Ryan Mayse and Rhyss Campbell scored either side of the interval to ensure Dungannon Swifts eased into the next round of the Irish Cup to meet Annagh United.
Knockbreda were without eight players due to Covid and put up a valiant fight, but Dean Shiels’ side had enough in the locker to put their Championship hosts to the sword.
On a bitterly cold afternoon in the Castlereagh Hills, the Swifts had to work hard for the victory with the opening goal coming 10 minutes before the break when Mayse collected a short corner from Oisin Smyth to score at the near post.
The visitors did not have it all their own way in the second half but wrapped up the victory when Darragh McBrien picked Campbell out with a square ball and the 23-year-old swept home close in.
“I felt we were in complete control,” said Swifts boss Shiels. “If we didn’t turn up with the right attitude, we could have got turned over.
“First-half, I felt quite confident, we were in control of the game, played a lot in their half and moved the ball well.
“Second-half, we lost control, gave away too many cheap free-kicks and that gives them an opportunity to put balls in our box and feed off scraps, but I’m happy with the effort and delighted to be in the next round.”
Knockbreda manager Colin McIlwrath was philosophical about his team’s exit from the Irish Cup, bearing in mind the loss of players to Covid.
“I think we came into it more in the second half but for all their possession I think we limited them, and we had a couple of chances ourselves so overall I think we did okay,” reflected McIlwrath. “We didn’t let ourselves down.
“There’s meant to be a gulf between us and them, but you can see the gulf is maybe not as big as people may think.”
KNOCKBREDA: Dean 6, Johnston 6, McCaughan 6, Rice 5 (Jackson 5), Gilmour 5, Glackin 6 (McCleave 6), O’Neill 6, Harrison 6 (Rea 6), Curran 6, Whiteway 5, Long 6.
Nelson 6, Glynn 6, Cowan 7, McCready 5 (Gallagher 6), Smyth 7, Mayse 7 (Knowles 6), Campbell 6 (Glenny 6), McGinty 6 (McConvie 6), McBrien 7 (McAleer 6), Devlin 6, McGee 6.
Referee: Evan Boyce (Ballygowan) 6.