Stephen Lowry and Ryan Harpur contest a header (©INPHO/Declan Roughan)
Saturday, 10 February 2018
League Cup finalists Dungannon Swifts made the first of back-to-back trips to Windsor Park to secure a scoreless draw with Linfield.
After a quiet opening Mark Stafford created the first effort of note after a quarter-of-an-hour with a shot which Stuart Addis did well to turn behind for a corner.
Kris Lowe had a chance for the Swifts on 25 minutes when he connected with a Jarlath O'Rourke cross only to head straight at Gareth Deane.
And O'Rourke came closest to finding a way through ten minutes after that when his great strike from distance came crashing back off the crossbar.
Indeed, Rodney McAree's side finished the first half strongly, coming close again when Daniel Hughes dispossessed Jimmy Callacher and attempted to lob 'keeper Gareth Deane before Jamie Mulgrew cleared the danger.
After the break, Kurtis Byrne had a go for the Blues with a thunderous volley which Addis met with an equally strong save while, moments later, Callacher headed just wide of an upright after Kirk Millar found him with a cross.
Addis was called into action again later in the game to palm away a strong Achille Campion effort.
Another chance followed soon after when Stafford headed just wide but, in the end, the Blues couldn't find a way past the well marshalled Swifts rearguard.
Linfield: Deane, Stafford, Crowe, Callacher, Waterworth, Lowry, J. Stewart, Millar, Rooney, Mulgrew, Quinn subs Robinson (not used), Byrne (replaced J. Stewart 46), Fallon (replaced Mulgrew 72), Mitchell (not used), Campion (replaced Rooney 66)
Dungannon Swifts: Addis, Hegarty, Wilson, Armstrong, Mayse, McElroy, Harpur, O'Rourke, Lowe, Clucas, D. Hughes subs Coleman (not used), Fitzpatrick (replaced Wilson 85), Teggart (replaced Mayse 76), Burke (replaced McElroy 72), Campbell (not used)
Referee: Shane Andrews