The Swifts returned to action on Saturday after a 2 week break. Lurgan travelled to Dungannon to play White City Reserves which pitted second versus third who were just a point behind before the start of the game.
The game was only 4 minutes in when Ryan Blacoe hit a cross into the penalty which Lewis McKinley controlled the ball and turned to volley it past the White City keeper. Ryan Blacoe should’ve had 3 assists to his name in the first 15 minute but Callum Watkins missed when receiving another Blacoe cross and Simon Wilson headed wide when he met a Ryan Blacoe corner. Lewis McKinley almost doubled his and the Swifts tally but his free kick was stopped by the keeper. White City didn’t really cause any issues for Lurgans defence of Dylan Hoy, Morgan Smyth and Adam Scorah. The one occasion that there was a threat was a high ball into the penalty area but 15 year old Reece Herron came out to punch clear. In the Swifts midfield Matthew Johnston was playing superbly as the holding midfielder which give freedom to Andy McIvor and Simon Wilson to attack more. On a number of occasions they linked up with right wing back Tim Millen to create chances. Tim was causing loads of issues for the White City left back. Lewis McKinley should’ve been awarded a penalty but for some reason the ref waved play on. The half finished with the Swifts just one goal up despite dominating the 45 minutes.
The half time talk was for the Swifts to up the tempo and to press more but credit to White City they made changes and the whole dynamic of the game swung in their favour. It was White City creating the chances early in the second half but the Swifts defenders stood strong to prevent clear openings. However, White City were awarded a penalty and rightly so as Dylan Hoy mistimed a tackle but he had Reece Herron to thank as he made a great penalty save. The last 15 minutes witnessed 3 goals with the Swifts getting the all important second of the game when Simon Wilson hit a sweetly struck shot from 20 yards past the keeper. White City kept pressing and eventually the pressure paid of as they got a goal back. Lurgan had introduced Niall McBride and Adam Leathem to the game. It was Niall that got an important third when Simon Wilson won the ball in midfield then played in Niall which he rounded the keeper to score into the empty net. The Swifts almost had a fourth when Niall watched his lob over the keeper just drift wide. The game finished with the Swifts winning 3-1. The win takes the Swifts to the top of the table.
There were more positives than negatives from the game with Reece Herron performing well in goal, Dylan Hoy marshalling the defensive unit and dominating any high balls, Lewis McKinley having a good game up front with a fourth goal in 3 matches but player of the match was Matthew Johnston as the CDM. Matthew showed great composure and distribution of the ball when required and was strong in the tackle as he continually broke up White City attacks.