The Swifts returned after the Christmas break to play Dromore Amateurs Reserves in Dromore on Saturday. The first half of the season the Swifts were sitting third in a good start to their debut season. The challenge for the second half of the season was to keep up the good performances.
Lurgan almost scored in the first minute but an excellent save by Dromore keeper from a Lewis McKinley shot prevented Lurgan taking the lead. However within minutes of that save a Dylan Hoy long pass found Callum Watkins who outpaced the defence to score with a good shot passed the keeper. The chances were coming Lurgans way but Ryan Blacoe, Callum and Morgan Smyth couldn’t extend the lead. Then on the 20th minute Graham Bunting returning to action hit a 30 yard right foot shot passed the Dromore keeper. Shortly after Lurgan lost Dylan Hoy to a shoulder injury so Lurgan had to reshuffle. The Swifts were still in control of the game but then with 2 minutes before the break the Ref gave Dromore a lifeline by awarding a penalty that 9 refs out of 10 wouldn’t have awarded. H-T 2-1
The second half Dromore played to their strengths as they continued with their style of play of lumping the ball up the pitch to their number 9. Lurgan should’ve extended their lead when both Tim Millen and Callum Watkins missed great chances but both were hit wide. Then another penalty was awarded to Dromore apparently for a handball that never was. However, on this occasion the striker smacked it of the crossbar. A number of big decisions were going Dromores way as their left back should’ve seen red for a 2 footed tackle on Luke Glenn but just a yellow was shown. Dromore got an equaliser as Lurgan lost their shape plus had Graham Bunting down injured. Lurgan went in search for the winner but it wasn’t to be. It was 2 points lost but credit to Lurgan as they always tried to play football against a physical Dromore team and a ref that made numerous outrageous decisions. The Swifts will need to be more clinical in front of goal to kill of games.
Best on the day was Graham Bunting with good performances from Lewis McKinley, Ryan Blacoe, Tim Millen and Jay McPolin.