The Swifts played their first home game of the season. Goodyear Reserves were the Swifts opponents on Saturday.
The game started with the Swifts controlling much of the early play and creating a couple of chances but the shots didn’t test the Goodyear keeper. However, there was a defensive error in Lurgan’s backline as Goodyear’s number 9 was left free and he pounced to score with a nice finish past Josh Pugh.
Goodyear’s confidence grew as they became more attacking but some last minute defensive interceptions by Conor McCann and Alex Wheelan kept the Swifts from going further behind. Then the turning point of the game was when Goodyear’s centre half got a straight red for foul and abusive language towards the ref. His frustration was from a poor decision made by the ref.
Timmy Millen became influential in the game with his pace but the referee blew him up for offside when clearly on. Simon Wilson almost equalised but watched his shot just go over the bar. H-T 0-1
Within the first minute of the second half the Swifts were playing with more composure and attacking threat that continued throughout the half. Lewis McKinley was showing that he is the creative player again as he played numerous defence splitting passes. Adam Leathem was back to his lung busting best and breaking up play with tackle after tackle. Adam was well supported by midfielders Simon Wilson and Sean McNally.
Defensively Lurgan improved with Conor McCann showing composure and reading of the game. Left back Graham Bunting was winning headers, tackles and getting forward to deliver crosses. Lewis almost scored with a right foot curler. Lurgan turned the screw as they equalised with the goal of the game when Wheelan, Wilson, McNally, Leathem all involved with Tim Millen receiving a pass on the right wing he left his opponent behind then whipped in a super cross for Lewis McKinley to score with a rare but great headed goal.
Then in a period of 9 minutes Ryan Blacoe scored is first ever senior hat-trick. Goal one and two were both assisted by the impressive Tim Millen which give Tim a hat-trick of assists. Blacoe’s 3rd goal arrived when Lewis hit a lovely curling dinked shot that seemed destined to go in but it hit the crossbar and kindly fall to poacher Ryan Blacoe to scramble in. Goodyear got a second goal direct from a corner kick but it was all a little late. F-T 4-2
It was a good feeling for the Swifts to get another win under the belt after a tough start to the season. The front 3 of Millen (3 assists), Blacoe (3 goals) and McKinley (1 goal & 1 assist) were brilliant and well supported by the midfield trio of McNally, Wilson and Leathem.
Full backs Wheelan and Bunting showing great defensive and attacking play. Central defenders O’Neill and McCann improved throughout the game. There was a debut for Gary Judt, along with a second appearance for Tom Leathem plus Curtis McDonald all coming on in the second half.