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Saturday 28th April v. Crusaders (home) - Danske Bank Premiership - k.o: 3:00pm

Uploaded Saturday, 3rd Sep, 2016 at 16:58

Date: Saturday, 3rd September, 2016; Competition: Danske Bank Premiership; Attendance: 437;
Dungannon Swifts [2] [2]
Ballymena United [1] [2]
Venue: Stangmore Park; Kick-Off: 15:00;
Referee: Steven Gregg; Assistant 1: Paul Berry; Assistant 2: Gavin Hegarty; 4th Official: Glenn Taylor;
[1-0] MITCHELL, Andy (6 mins), [2-0] MITCHELL, Andy (10 mins), [2-1] McCLOSKEY, Conor (30 mins), [2-2] FRIEL, Cathair (61 mins)

BALLYMENA United had to come from behind to grab a draw against Dungannon Swifts at Stangmore Park today.
United started the game brightly and had a good chance with 5 minutes gone, Daniel Wallace crossing in and Cathair Friel heading just past the post. Unfortunately a long ball played out of the Dungannon defence reached Andy Mitchell who was able to strike past Alan Blayney and into the top corner of the net. Within 4 minutes the Swifts were 2 ahead, Mitchell grabbing his second goal after being played through by Kris Lowe.
Just after the 15 minute mark the visitors had another chance, but Johnny McMurray headed over from a corner. Moments later Tony Kane sent a free kick flying in, resulting in a shot from Conor McCloskey which seen a slight deflection and went under the legs of Swifts keeper Coleman, but he was able to recover and stop the ball crossing the line. Ballymena finally pulled a goal back as the half hour mark approached, Conor McCloskey putting a header past Coleman.
Conor McCloskey pulled the first goal back for United
Just after the hour mark Tony Kane whipped in a corner and Friel got on the end of it with a header past Coleman.
Cathair Friel grabbed the equaliser just after the hour mark
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As the game went on United were piling on the pressure, and towards the end had a series of corners but it just wouldn't fall in the right spot. In the 90th minute the Swifts cleared the ball but it hit their own player and bounced into the path of Friel and the official raised the flag for a very questionable offside offence.
The Sky Blues will have been very disappointed to go 2 goals down early in the game, but they showed battling spirit to come back and grab a vital point.
After the game Manager David Jeffrey said "We've been preaching to our wide players when the ball's coming in from the opposite side they've got to be coming in at the back post, and Conor did that with great aplomb and that got us back into the game and give us a little bit of self believe. Then Cathair scores his usual goal with a fantastic header from a great delivery from Anthony Kane, and I felt that possession wise in the second half we dominated the game but probably didn't create enough chances, but overall I've got to say Dungannon are a very good side under Rodney McAree they play some superb football. I've got to mention the playing surface, it is like a carpet and Dungannon Swifts need to be praised for the state of their pitch, it's superb. When you reflect on it while I would've been delighted with 3 points, trying to take a step back and be objective, a draw was a fair result."
Ballymena United host Cliftonville next Saturday in the Danske Bank Premiership.
Match Report by Paul Irwin
Ballymena United Team:
Alan Blayney, Tony Kane, Kyle Owens, Allan Jenkins ( 43), Conor McCloskey ( Gary Thompson 75), Cathair Friel, Daniel Wallace, Jim Ervin ( 81), Leroy Millar ( Willie Faulkner 66), Johnny McMurray, Caolan Loughran ( 52).

Subs not used: Ross Glendinning, Denver Gage, Matthew Shevlin.