McCULLOUGH BAGS LATE SKY BLUES WINNER
Ballymena United squeezed to a narrow victory over Dungannon Swifts at The Showgrounds to keep their hopes of a top six finish alive.
The Sky Blues started brightly with Mikey Place rolling an early effort wide of the upright while Kym Nelson tested Swifts keeper Declan Dunne a little after that.
However, the first half was a fairly tame affair with Kenny Kane and David Parkhouse creating openings for United while, for the Swifts, Rhyss Campbell had a go from distance but this didn't trouble keeper Sean O'Neill.
The second half got off to a slow start but came to life around the hour mark when Conor Keeley saw a shot beaten away by Dunne with Leroy Millar turning the rebound narrow over from the edge of the area.
Dungannon were reduced to ten men on 74 minutes when Ryan Mayse was sent-off for a second bookable offence following a challenge on Brendan Barr.
Looking to capitalise on this, United came close to breaking the deadlock soon after but Ross Redman's free-kick was touched over by Dunne.
However, David Jeffrey's side did take the lead with three minutes left through substitute Steven McCullough who was in the right place to head home Paul McElroy's delivery from the right flank home from the edge of the six yard box.
Ballymena United: O’Neill, Redman, Kane, Barr, Parkhouse, Keeley, Millar, Graham, M. Smith, Nelson, Place subs Gallagher (not used), McElroy (replaced Parkhouse 68), Waide (replaced Kane 68), McCullough (replaced Graham 62), Henderson (not used), Rodgers (not used), Bramall (replaced M. Smith 86)
Dungannon Swifts: Dunne, Glynn, Mayse, McCready, Campbell, C. McGinty, S. McGinty, Devlin, Glenny, McGee, Friel subs Nelson (not used), Coyle (replaced McCready 80), McKendry (replaced Glynn 41), Gallagher (not used), McDonald (replaced Friel 55), Convie (not used), Walsh (not used)