DUNGANNON SWIFTS 3 CRUSADERS 2
Dungannon Swifts named Kris Lindsay as their new manager on Tuesday night - and marked the occasion with a thrilling first league win of the season after a 3-2 home success over defending Irish League champions Crusaders. Ex-defender Lindsay takes over following Rodney McAree’s departure earlier this month.
He will take charge for the first time against Glenavon on Saturday.
No doubt Lindsay will be buoyed by last night’s result, as Paul McElroy’s 93rd minute penalty gave Dungannon the points.
Im a stunning game, the Swifts were 2-0 up and well on top going into the final 15 minutes last night.
Stephen Baxter’s side scored twice in as many minutes to somehow drag themselves off the canvass. Kris Lowe’s own goal handed them hope, before Paul Heatley’s stunner levelled it up.
But Dungannon had the final say, securing their first win in stunning style.
Baxter made two changes to the side that lost at Glenavon on Saturday - Philip Lowry and Sean Ward were recalled.
Dungannon brought in Corey McMullan, Alan Teggart and Lowe as they tried for a first Premiership win of the term.
The first half was an entertaining affair with chances for both sides.
Early on Heatley beat the offside trap to collect a ball out of midfield but steered a low shot wide from a tight angle.
McMullan was almost through for Dungannon, but the goalkeeper was out quickly to intercept.
The visitors went close again in the 29th minute. Ross Clarke supplied the corner and Philip Lowry headed just over.
Dungannon went ahead a minute later in sensational style.
Daniel Hughes was the creator, cutting in from the left, with Ryan Harpur finishing it off with a first time finish into the top corner.
Jordan Owens spurned a good chance to equalise, with the big striker heading over at the back post from a Sean Ward cross.
But Dungannon were well in the game, and Hughes twice went close.
First he ran at the Crues’ defence, beating two players, but his shot was beaten away by Sean O’Neill.
Then the striker got on the end of a lovely move involving Teggart and Grant Hutchinson, but again the goalkeeper came out on top.
Matthew Snoddy had a chance right at the end for the Crues, but it was saved.
Dungannon continued to play on the front foot as the second half started.
Teggart smashed a shot into the wall after a free-kick was played short, before the Swifts doubled their lead in the 54th minute.
A penalty was given for hand-ball, and Hughes sent his kick into the bottom right-hand corner.
But the Crues, under the cosh, found the resolve to turn the game around.
They shocked Dungannon with a two goals in as many minutes.
First Swifts defender Lowe headed into his own net as he tried to clear a free-kick from Heatley.
Then a minute later the Crues levelled as Heatley scored with a hooked effort over helpless goalkeeper Alex Moore.
Dungannon, though, kept going, hitting the post, before that late penalty.
Sub Johnny Lafferty was tripped in the box, leading to the penalty, and sub McElroy fired home from the spot.
DGN SWIFTS: Moore, Lowe, Hegarty, Armstrong, O’Rourke, Clucas, Hutchinson, Harpur, McMullan, Teggart (Lafferty, 86), Hughes (McElroy, 64)
Subs not used: Dykes, Wilson, Patton, Addis, Campbell
CRUSADERS: O’Neill, McChrystal (Brown, 60), Beverland (Patterson, 67), Coates, Clarke, Lowry (Burns, 46), Ward, Carvill, Heatley, Snoddy, Owens
Subs not used: Doherty, Glackin, Cushley, Thompson
Referee: Keith Kennedy (Lisburn)