Dungannon clinch rare home victory over Ballymena

Dungannon's goal scorer Terry Fitzpatrick
Dungannon's goal scorer Terry Fitzpatrick

DUNGANNON SWIFTS 1 BALLYMENA UTD 0

Dungannon Swifts claimed just their third home win of the league season with this victory over a lacklustre Ballymena.

Terry Fitzpatrick scored the only goal of the game in the first half.

Ballymena, though, will point to a penalty decision which went against them just before the break.

The victory is a major boost to Swifts’ hopes of survival.

Dungannon started the night four points outside the drop zone and still needing wins to ease their relegation worries.

The Sky Blues had won 3-0 on their last visit to Stangmore Park and made a decent start.

Inside 20 seconds some poor defending resulted in a chance for Gary Thompson, but his low strike crept just past the post.

At the other end Matt Hazley turned and drilled a shot narrowly wide.

Matthew Tipton and David Cushley both had attempts, the latter working the goalkeeper from the tightest of angles.

A good passage of play from Swifts saw Jamie Glackin take a pass from Gary Liggett and cross to the back post, where Fitzpatrick couldn’t connect with the ball.

All three combined again in the 33rd minute. Glackin played in Liggett, who cut the ball back to Fitzpatrick, but his strike was blocked.

From the resulting corner Hazley found Fitzpatrick, whose header bounced off the post and was ruled to have crossed the line by the assistant.

Late in the half Eamonn McAllister had claims for a penalty turned down.

Andrew Mitchell, a replacement for Liggett, went close to adding a second just past the hour mark but his low strike was tipped wide.

Glackin also worked the goalkeeper after cutting across goal.

Otherwise the second half was a poorer affair, with Ballymena showing little sign of a comeback.

Instead Swifts continued to threaten, and Mitchell sent a half-volley over after meeting a header from Glackin.

Stefan Lavery also went for goal from wide on the left but his shot was safely gathered.

Glenn Ferguson played his final hand with the introduction of Mark Surgenor and Ally Teggart for the last 10 minutes, but Dungannon held on.

DUNGANNON SWIFTS: Coleman, Burns, Brennan, Wilson, O’Rourke, Glackin, Fitzpatrick (McCullough, 87), Harpur, Hazley, Douglas (S Lavery, 75), Liggett (Mitchell, 61)

Subs not used: Lowe, Sanusi

BALLYMENA: Allen, Ervin, McNally, Munster (Teggart, 81), McBride, McAllister (McCaul, 68), Kane, Thompson (Surgenor, 81), Cushley, Boyce, Tipton

Subs not used: Gardiner, Gawley

Referee: Raymond Hetherington (Dungannon)