Dungannon Swifts players celebrate Ryan Harpur's penalty (©INPHO/Stephen Hamilton)
Tuesday, 30 January 2018
Goals from Peter McMahon and Ryan Harpur saw Dungannon Swifts reach the BetMcLean League Cup final at the expense of Crusaders in a dramatic evening at Stangmore Park.
Crusaders might have held a commanding lead at the break when Colin Coates saw an effort cleared off the line by Chris Hegarty while Paul Heatley turned a later shot against the crossbar.
However, Coates went one better five minutes into the second half when he got his head to a Heatley free-kick from the left to direct the ball beyond Stuart Addis.
And they came close to doubling their advantage when Heatley curled the ball towards the far post only for Coates to collide with Jordan Owens allowing the Swifts to clear.
Rodney McAree's side pushed hard for the equaliser, eventually grabbing it with five minutes of normal time remaining when substitute McMahon rifled the ball past Sean O'Neill into the top corner.
Moving into extra-time, Billy Joe Burns came close to restoring Crusaders' lead when he tested Addis with a strong drive but the Swifts 'keeper did well to palm the ball away.
What proved to be Dungannon's winner came with five minutes remaining. Kris Lowe was upended in the box and from the resultant spot-kick Swifts captain Harpur confidently stepped up to send O'Neill the wrong way.
Dungannon Swifts: Addis, Hegarty, Armstrong, McElroy, Harpur, Teggart, O'Rourke, Lowe, Burke, Hutchinson, Lafferty subs Fitzpatrick (replaced Burke 115), Mayse (replaced Lafferty 20), McMahon (replaced Teggart 63), Coyle (not used), Campbell (not used)
Crusaders: O'Neill, Burns, McChrystal, Coates, Ward, Lowry, Caddell, Forsythe, Snoddy, Heatley, Owens subs Jensen (not used), Bonner (not used), Cushley (replaced Snoddy 106), Glackin (replaced Lowry 53), McClean (replaced McChrystal 49)
Referee: Andrew Davey
|Billy Joe Burns|
|Declan Caddell||105 +1|