David Jeffrey frustrated as Ballymena United held by Dungannon Swifts

Ballymena United's Cathair Friel celebrates after making it 2-1 against Dungannon Swifts
Ballymena United's Cathair Friel celebrates after making it 2-1 against Dungannon Swifts

Ballymena United manager David Jeffrey cut a frustrated figure after his side’s 2-2 draw with Dungannon Swifts in the Danske Bank premiership at the weekend.

Twice the Sky Blues led against the Swifts through goals from Jude Winchester and Cathair Friel but goals from Daniel Hughes and Oisin Smyth earned the visitors a share of the spoils.

Kris Lindsay’s side also had Douglas Wilson see red after a reckless challenge on Jim Ervin.

The draw means United have gone three games without a victory and Jeffrey says United were their own worst enemies.

“It was most frustrating. It was a difficult today in terms of the conditions, with the swirling wind, the low sun and the bumpy pitch.

“So conditions were not great and it was not a day for playing football.

“But we knew it was going to be difficult as they are a good side who have put Cliftonville out of two cup competitions and they have gone to the Oval and beaten Glentoran.

“We knew what we were coming up against in the shape of Dungannon and in a difficult first half we about shaded it and it was a superb goal from Winchester.

“And then again we were the authors of our own downfall and we get ourselves back in front and then we shoot ourselves in the foot with their second goal.

“But I can’t be too critical of the players because they have given so much for a period and they have done so well and you sometimes you have to give credit to the opposition.

“I thought Dungannon were excellent and there were a couple of times the ball went across our box near the end and we could have been looking at a defeat.

“I always say how it is - so well done to the Swifts. They fought like tigers and we didn’t help ourselves but I’m not going to be critical of the of the players.”

And Jeffrey knows what to expect at Mourneview Park on Saturday.

“They are a very talented bunch. They are one of the clubs we are aspiring to copy. As they were fighting relegation, then they were fighting for top six and then they have consolidated their place in the top six.

“They have also won a coupe of Irish Cups and that is what we are trying to do that and that target and objective has not changed.

“And it will be another tough test against a very good side on Saturday,” said Jeffrey.

Swifts manager Lindsay praised his side and was even slightly disappointed that they spurned last chances to take all three league points.

“We had a couple of great chances on the break near the end of the game and we maybe should have taken those chances so that is frustrating but when you look were Ballymena are in the League,

“They are flying high and it is a very difficult place to come and then you go down to ten men with 20 odd minutes left.

“So we are delighted with the point. Our players were excellent to a man and I can’t really ask anymore from them in terms of effort, desire, commitment and quality.

“So we will take the point and prepare ourselves for the Cliftonville game at our place next weekend.”

The Swifts have out the Reds out of two cup competitions this season but Lindsay expects Barry Gray’s side to be out to put the record straight.

“These games thick and fast and we are in a wee run now of games against the top six, but we have to take confidence from our last few of our performances.

We went away to the Oval and Solitude and did well. We also did well against Ballymena so we will take confidence from that and we are at home so we will be looking to win the game. We are confident we can win the game next weekend,” added Lindsay.