Football: Dungannon Tigers extend their winning run against Craigavon

Brian Somerville, Dungannon Tigers  INTT1413-503JS
Brian Somerville, Dungannon Tigers INTT1413-503JS

Dungannon Tigers continued their run of excellent form with another win against intermediate league newcomers, Craigavon City.

Brian Somerville scored his first goal in 2015 to seal what may be described as an ugly win.

It was a challenging game for the Tigers and their management team as no fewer than seven first team players declared themselves unavailable due to holidays, injury and illness.

Four members of the u21 team were called up to first team duty, including a debut at centre back for 17 year old Mantas Bacius.

The Dungannon side understandably were cautious in the opening period and the experienced stringer helped settle a makeshift defence that included a first appearance of the season in goal for Luke O’Donnell and winger Peter Devlin who was playing right back. Opportunities in the first half were at a premium and it was no real surprise when the teams remained scoreless.

The Tigers threw off the shackles at the start of the second half and began to play with more confidence. The Dungannon defence was coping admirably with the Craigavon attack and Bacius was fitting in nicely.

On 50 minutes Somerville pounced to score his first goal for some months following a lengthy lay off due to injury, a goal that probably the Tigers just about deserved on the balance of play.

The defining moment of the game came on 70 minutes when the home side were awarded a penalty after a clumsy challenge by Stringer. The City striker hit the spot kick well and to O’Donnell’s right but the Dungannon firefighter got a strong hand to it to deny Craigavon an equaliser.

Machado and Devlin had exhausted themselves after fine displays and were replaced by twomore u21 players, Mino Djaura and Valdo Saldanha, both giving a great account of themselves .

The Tigers held on for another excellent three points on a day when genuine club players and hard work was the key.

Next up on Saturday is a league game away to South Down side, Moneyslane .

Tigers’ promotion-seeking u21 side romped to a superb win at home against a more experienced Knockmenagh side on Saturday.

The Armagh side sat just a couple of places below the Tigers young development squad but were, in trut , no match for David Tate and Neil Phillips’ charges.

Jordan Stinson got the Tigers off the mark with a well taken goal on 10 minutes after fine work from the excellent Nathan McMenemy of the left wing.

The lead was doubled when top scorer Mateus Parizoto showed great composure to calmly slot home beyond the keeper.

The visitors looked dangerous on the attack and Daire Martin had to remain focused to deal with the threat, Johnny McLean adding a third via a shot from the edge of the box .

McLean and Conor Mullan, who have struck up an exciting partnership in midfiel , were again hugely influential in the proceedings and were often the platform for many of the Tigers attacks.

Stinson added a fourth after a McLean shot rebounded to the fitness instructor and his header looped over the helpless keeper.

Pearse Loughran got his rewards for a fine display on the left flank with a goal on 70 minutes and Stinson completed his hat-trick.

It was left to Mullan to wrap up the scoring when he broke from a deep position e before brilliantly rounding the keeper and firing home.

U21s, with two games left, have a break for two weeks .