Ballymena United held at home by Dungannon Swifts

Ballymena United's Jonathan McMurray
Ballymena United's Jonathan McMurray

Ballymena United 2 Dungannon Swifts 2

Ballymena United and Dungannon Swifts huffed and puffed to a 2-2 draw in the Danske Bank Premiership at the Showgrounds on Saturday.

The windy conditions made it difficult for both sides but the Sky Blues will be disappointed to lose ground on leaders Linfield - after looking set to pick-up three points against Kris Lindsay's outfit.

United had the first chance of the half in the 13th minute. A corner fell to Jude Winchester and his shot was well saved by Alex Moore.

Seconds later the Swifts had a chance as Paul McElroy's effort beat United keeper Ross Glendinning but Steven McCullough cleared the danger.

On 23 minutes a Cathair Friel flick-on found Jonathan McMurray and his bullet like effort hit the outside of the post with Swifts keeper Moore stranded.

Swifts skipper Christopher Hegarty had a great chance in the 32nd minute. The defenders effort from a free-kick being well saved by United keeper Glendinning.

In the 41st minute it was 1-0 to the Sky Blues. A few passes resulted in Winchester firing home from the edge of the box after a touch from McMurray.

It was a great finish from the former Cliftonville midfielder and it was a lead the home side just about deserved in the windy conditions.

The Swifts had the ball in the net in the 59th minute but the referee had already blown for a foul but United would have to up their ideas if they wanted to hold on to their 1-0 lead.

Winchester had another chance after a free-kick in the 61st minute but Moore saved the effort.

It was 1-1 in the 63rd minute. A mistake by United defender Scot Whiteside released Daniel Hughes and he rounded Glendinning before firing home.

The Swifts Douglas Wilson was then sent-off in the 70th minute after a reckless lunge at United skipper Ervin.

It could have been 2-1 to United in the 72nd minute but Swifts keeper Moore made a great save to deny Jonathan Addis.

The home side finally got their second in the 75th minute as the ball fell to Friel in the box for him to hammer it home from 10 yards.

Much to the home supports disappointment it was 2-2 two minutes later as Oisin Smyth shot home after a McElroy shot had been parried by keeper Glendinning.

Whiteside then had a chance to make amends in the 81st minute but he headed over when well placed and the chance was lost.

The Swifts had a great chance to get another goal but no-one could make contact with Mark Patton's cross in the 85th minute.

McElroy then had a great chance for the Swifts near the end but Glendinning did well to block.

Ballymena: Glendinning, Kane, Addis, Whiteside (McGinty 88min), Friel, Knowles (Millar 67mins), McCullough, Winchester, Ervin, Lecky, McMurray (Harpur 57mins).

Subs not used: Williamson, Mayse, Faulkner, Balmer.

Dungannon; Moore, Hegarty, Wilson, Armstrong, Clucas (Hutchinson 56mins), Hughes (Lafferty 77mins), McElroy, Teggart, O'Rourke, Patton, Burke (Smyth 72mins).

Subs not used: Moran, Dykes, McGinty, Campbell.

REF: T Marshall