Football: Machado and Burns are on target in crucial win for Dungannon Tigers

Sean Anthony Burns passes to Brian Somerville  INTT1413-501JS
Sean Anthony Burns passes to Brian Somerville INTT1413-501JS

Dungannon Tigers produced probably their best performance of the season when they saw off promotion rivals Moneyslane at the Joe McAree stadium by two clear goals.

In truth, the Tigers rode their luck in the first period of the game when a combination of last ditch defending, excellent goalkeeping, luck and poor finishing kept the county Down men scoreless on a horrendous wet and windy day.

Goalkeeper Mark McReynolds was kept busy in the opening half as the near gale force wind and driving rain was in the face of the Tigers defence.

Stringer and Fox used all their experience at centre back to thwart the Moneyslane attack and it was a day when the home side’s two young full backs, Lobo and Vasely, will have learned a lot .

The Dungannon midfield quartet of Nathan Martin , Niall Kelly , Conor mc Bride and Bruno Machado were doing their utmost to stem the tide.

And it was Machado, elevated to the first team from the Tigers u21 side, who gave the Tigers a welcome lead when he held off two Moneyslane defenders before rifling a thunderous left foot shot to the net that gave the Slane keeper no chance.

Fox and Lobo showed excellent skill and composure to patiently work the ball out of defence before a sublime pass from Kelly played in Machado to fire home .

The conditions were deteriorating further and both teams were grateful to be playing on the Tigers’ superb 3G surface as both teams done brilliantly to concentrate on trying to play football .

On the half mark Moneyslane were given a penalty when Martin was adjudged to have committed a foul in the Tigers area. The spot kick was dispatched well but Tigers keeper McReynolds was equal to it and produced a quite stunning save to keep the home side in the lead.

As time ran down, the Tigers introduced Jason Toner to tighten things up in midfield and with five minutes remaining club captain Brian Somerville, who has been injured for the vast majority of the season, was introduced to the fray.

It gave the players a huge boost to see their captain back in the trenches with them and indeed Somerville had a pivotal role to play in the Tigers second and decisive goal when he assisted Sean Anthony Burns to score on 90 minutes and give the Dungannon men an excellent win .

Burns’ goal puts him level in the individual goalscoring charts amazingly with two other players, Somerville and Eamon Cusack, with two more players - Conor McBride and Jason Toner - just one goal adrift .

So a close run in for the golden boot award but continuing the fine run that the Tigers are on will be foremost in everyone’s mind as they take on the resurgent Lurgan Town on Saturday at the Joe McAree Stadium .

Our u 21 team continue their quest for promotion in their very first season when they travel to Lurgan to take on Goodyear on Saturday .

Training continues at the usual time of 6.45pm on Wednesday .