Terry Fitzpatrick (35)

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Terry Fitzpatrick celebrates grabbing Dungannon's winner (Picture: Matt Mackey/PressEye.com)

FITZPATRICK STRIKE EARNS SWIFTS VITAL THREE POINTS

Dungannon Swifts picked up a crucial three points with this Friday night defeat of Ballymena United at Stangmore Park.

The visitors might have raced into the lead inside the first minute only for Gary Thompson's low effort to go the wrong side of the upright.

United also came close through David Cushley who had an effort turned over by 'keeper Andy Coleman while, from the corner that followed, Paddy McNally headed a little too high.

For the Swifts Matt Hazley created an early effort while, later in the first half, Gary Liggett's cross to the back post was just missed by Terry Fitzpatrick.

But Fitzpatrick went one better ten minutes from the break with a header from Hazley's cross which bounced off the post before being adjudged to have crept over the line by the assistant referee.

The Swifts looked to extend their lead in the second half with an Andy Mitchell half-volley from a Jamie Glackin header before Stefan Lavery went close after bringing the ball in from the left.

Dungannon Swifts: Coleman, Fitzpatrick, Douglas, Hazley, Liggett, Harpur, Burns, Glackin, Brennan, Wilson, O'Rourke subs McCullough (replaced Fitzpatrick 85), Lowe (not used), Mitchell (replaced Liggett 60), Lavery (replaced Douglas 75), Sanusi (not used)

Ballymena United: Allen, Ervin, McNally, Munster, McBride, McAllister, Kane, Thompson, Cushley, Boyce, Tipton subs Teggart (replaced Munster 80), Surgenor (replaced Thompson 80), McCaul (replaced McAllister 68), Gardiner (not used), Gawley (not used)

Referee: Raymond Hetherington

Attendance: 311