The Swifts returned to competitive football on Saturday after a 6 month break and after another promotion the Swifts now find themselves in Reserve Division 2.
The first league game was a home fixture against Seapatrick Reserves. Due to a number of players unavailable within the Senior section it was a case of bringing in more youth players. U17 player Ricky De Araujo and U16 player Krissy Cassells both making their first competitive senior debuts.
The game started well for the Swifts with Alex Wheelan and Adam Leathem both forcing ex Lisburn Distillery keeper into two excellent saves. Josh Pugh was making some good saves in the game. Unfortunately the Swifts conceded 2 goals in the 11th and 18th minutes to the player of the match David Lewsley from Seapatrick. The Swifts weren’t playing to their potential with a number of players playing below their capabilities but they still created chances. H-T 0-2
15 year old Krissy Cassells came on at the start of the second half for 16 year old Tom Leathem. It was another quick 2 goals that killed the game with Seapatrick scoring after a defensive mistake allowed Lewsley to get his hat-trick goal in the 47th minute. Their 4th goal was scored in the 52nd minute after Adam Leathem played a back pass to Joshua Pugh but hadn’t realised a Seapatrick player was still in the 18 yard box.
Lurgan made 2 changes in the 62nd minute and replaced 16 year old Ricky and 17 year old Sean McNally with Dylan Hoy and Luke Kerr. However, goal number five arrived when that man Lewsley tapped in a cross to the back post for his 4th goal. Lurgan eventually showed a glimpse of their quality when Lewis McKinley played a back heel pass down the line for the run of Simon Wilson. Simon hit in a cross where sub Luke Kerr scored with a well stroke shot. Lurgan’s day got worse when Brett Smyth went off with an injury leaving the Swifts to play 10 minutes with 10 men. They almost got a second goal but Ryan Blacoe hit the crossbar from a few yards out. F-T 1-5
It was a bit like deja vu as the Swifts lost 5-1 first game of last season, didn’t play well, sub scored their only goal, missed a few chances but ultimately lost to a better team on the day. Although it wasn’t a good performance or result the Swifts know it’s game one with time to recover as the season progresses. A couple of special mentions for Krissy Cassells playing well on his debut and Luke Kerr for his goal and then filling in at centre half (MOM).