Allan Jenkins keeps a close eye on Matt Hazley (Picture: PressEye.com)
Saturday, 19 October 2013
BALLYMENA United picked up only their second away win of the campaign with victory over Dungannon Swifts at Stangmore Park.
Gary Liggett fired the Sky Blues into the lead after just 63 seconds after he darted down the left flank, past defender David McCullough before sending a low shot below 'keeper Gareth Buchanan.
Then, a few minutes later, Tony Kane almost doubled United's advantage when he hit an upright direct from a corner before the ball was cleared.
It was 2-0 on 26 minutes after Ally Teggart took the ball down the right for it to come off Cameron Grieve and drop for Gary Thompson to slot home.
But the Swifts reduced the arrears ten minutes from half-time after Matt Hazley knocked a free-kick on for Ryan Harpur and when his effort was blocked the ball fell for Stefan Lavery to beat Dwayne Nelson.
And Hazley might have levelled not long after with a strong 30-yard drive which fizzed just past the upright.
However, the visitors restored their two-goal advantage on 41 minutes after Liggett turned a header onto the post before, from the ensuing scramble, skipper Allan Jenkins finally slid the ball in.
The Swifts clawed back the deficit again on 51 minutes after Hazley teed up Terry Fitzpatrick and after his effort was blocked Darren Boyce pounced to knock home the loose ball.
Buoyed by this, Darren Murphy's side produced a determined attempt at claiming at least a point but were thwarted by an on-form in Nelson.
The United 'keeper needed to be at his best right at the end, in particular, to touch a 25-yard Grant Hutchinson drive onto the crossbar before, in stoppage time, he produced a superb stop to keep out a Hazley set piece.