Cliftonville deny Dungannon Swifts at the death

Dungannon's Mark Patton scores a superb opener for  Swifts at Standmore Park. (INPHO/Freddie Parkinson)
Dungannon's Mark Patton scores a superb opener for Swifts at Standmore Park. (INPHO/Freddie Parkinson)

Dungannon Swifts 1

Cliftonville 1

Both Dungannon and Cliftonville experienced relief and frustration in equal measure after this hard-fought draw.

The Swifts got their first point of the season and on another afternoon it could have been all three as Jay Donnelly’s 88th minute equaliser denied them victory.

The Reds will have mixed feelings too - a sense of satisfaction at a late goal but concern at a subdued second half performance. In the end a draw was probably a fair result.

Cliftonville had the first big chance after 12 minutes. Joe Gormley’s lay-off found Chris Curran who curled a shot against the crossbar.

At the other end, Dungannon threatened when Paul McElroy beat several players before shooting wide. Otherwise, the Reds carried more of a threat in the first half.

Alex Moore saved well from Gormley before denying Conor McMenamin at close range.

The game saw several strong challenges and one by Swifts’ full-back Seanan Clucas on McMenamin early in the second half angered Reds’ fans. However, of more concern should have been Cliftonville’s increasingly lethargic performance.

Dungannon were on the front foot with McElroy going close twice. Soon afterwards McElroy placed another effort wide of the back post as the target opened up.

The Swifts went in front in the 62nd minute through a superb individual strike. Patton capitalised after the ball escaped a defender and, after taking a touch, lobbed a wonderful left-foot effort over the goalkeeper.

As the clock ticked down, Dungannon sensed a first win of the season but they were pegged back with two minutes left. Sub Thomas Maguire found Gormley, who fed it across to Donnelly to steer home a right-foot effort.

GN SWIFTS: Moore, Hegarty, Wilson (Coyle, 84), Dykes (Lowe, 90), O’Rourke, Clucas, Harpur, McMullan, Patton, Burke (Teggart, 74), McElroy

CLIFTONVILLE: Brush, McGovern, Breen, C Curran, Ives, Harney, Bagnall (Maguire, 71), Catney, McMenamin (Garrett, 67), J Donnelly, Gormley

Referee: Tony Clarke (Newtownabbey)