Important victory for Swifts at Coleraine

Coleraine's Shane McGinty with Dungannon's Grant Hutchinson
Coleraine's Shane McGinty with Dungannon's Grant Hutchinson

Dungannon Swifts gave manager Darren Murphy the perfect birthday present with a vital win over Coleraine.

Debutant Conor Mullen was the hero for the Swifts coming off the bench to score with his first touch to win the game.

It was the Bannsiders who carved out the first opening of the game with only a minute on the clock as Ian Parkhill fed Shane McGinty, but the wide man dragged his shot past the far post.

The Swifts responded with Ryan Harpur trying his luck from fully 30 yards, Michael Doherty safely gathered his long-range free kick though.

Andrew Mitchell produced a neat piece of skill to dink the ball over the head of Stephen Douglas on 12 minutes, his volley from just inside the box however was less than impressive and failed to trouble Doherty in the home goal.

Shane McGinty went close again on 21 minutes as he cut in from the right, but again he dragged his shot wide of the mark.

The breakthrough finally arrived on 27 minutes and it was the visitors who grabbed it. Grant Hutchinson weaved his way down the left before picking Mitchell out with a great ball, and the big striker head home from close range.

Coleraine thought they had drawn level on 34 minutes as Canning’s long free went the whole way through to Matthew Snoddy, he rounded Andy Coleman in the Swifts goal, but he couldn’t find the net as the keeper recovered to parry his shot away.

Mark Miskimmin was presented with a gilt-edged opportunity on 55 minutes, David Armstrong produced a great block tackle to deny him though.

The Bannsiders were proving wasteful in front of goal, and they spurned another glorious chance on 63 minutes. Neil McCafferty’s long ball picked out Parkhill in the box, however the striker could only deflect the ball wide of the target.

Oran Kearney’s men were dominating possession turning that into genuine goal scoring opportunities was proving more difficult though as the rain lashed down.

The hosts finally drew level with 11 minutes to go with the assist coming from the unlikely source of Michael Doherty. His long clearance caught out Brennan allowing substitute Gary Browne to race clear and coolly slot past Coleman.

Their joy was short lived though as substitute Mullen poked home from close range to put the visitors back in front again on 86 minutes.