Dungannon add to Ballymena’s woes

Dungannon 'Swifts Paul McElroy'and Ballymena's Michael Ruddy
Dungannon 'Swifts Paul McElroy'and Ballymena's Michael Ruddy

DUNGANNON SWIFTS 2 BALLYMENA UNITED 0

Two late goals gave Dungannon Swifts their first win of the new season.

But the pressure continues to grow on Ballymena United after they slumped to a fourth successive loss.

Ryan Harpur and Paul McElroy scored in the final stages to condemn the Sky Blues to defeat.

Ballymena made two team changes with Gareth Rodger, the defender signed on loan from St Johnstone, pitched straight into action.

Dungannon’s sole switch saw Ryan Mullan recalled in place of David Armstrong, who was suspended.

The home side had the best of the early chances.

McElroy fired into the side-netting before Terry Fitzpatrick headed wide from close range after meeting a cross.

Swifts forced the game’s first effort on target in the 15th minute, but the goalkeeper safely collected McElroy’s free-kick.

Ballymena’s first attempt came in the 18th minute, with Matthew Ferguson’s low strike flashing narrowly wide.

Dungannon were appealing for a penalty after McElroy went down in the box after what looked a push - but the referee ignored their protests.

The home side went close again at the start of the second period, with Kyle McVey getting in the way of a goal-bound Fitzpatrick header.

Allan Jenkins then went close for the visitors, shooting just wide after a flowing counter attack.

Harpur broke the deadlock in the 78th minute, taking a pass from Dale Montgomery and slotting home from close range.

McElroy scored the second two minutes from time.

He met a long clearance and curled home a beauty from the edge of the box.

DUNGANNON SWIFTS: Coleman, Mullan, Montgomery, Burns, McCaffrey, Fitzpatrick (Mitchell, 59), Harpur, Glackin, Burke (Hazley, 65), Teggart, McElroy

Subs not used: McCullough, Liggett, Addis

BALLYMENA UTD: Nelson, Ervin, McVey, Rodger, Ruddy, Thompson, Ferguson (Hanley, 70), Jenkins, Faulkner, Shevlin (Millar, 67), Cushley

Subs not used: McBride, Tipton, Kane

Referee: Ross Dunlop (Carrick)