Glentoran fell to their second defeat of the festive period as Dungannon deservedly took the points at Stangmore Park this afternoon. Alan Kernaghan named an unchanged starting XI from the narrow Boxing Day defeat to Linfield and it was the visitors who created the first clear cut chance of the game after four minutes. A great pass from Jonny Addis found Curtis Allen on the right who cut inside his marker and got a shot on target which was well saved with his feet by Dungannon 'keeper Andy Coleman. However it was the Swifts who made the breakthrough soon afterwards as Paul McElroy made a good run down the left. The winger sent in a deep cross in search of one of his colleagues but the flight of the ball deceived Aaron Hogg and it dropped onto the inside of the far post and rebounded into the net to give the home side the lead.
The Glens almost replied immediately afterwards as the Dungannon defence failed to deal with an Addis long throw, Steven McCullough headed back into the danger area and Jay Magee fired over the bar from eight yards. On eighteen minutes a superb turn by Curtis Allen created space in the box but he was once again denied by Coleman's feet. Midway through the half Hogg was almost deceived by McElroy again as his right wing corner came close to creeping in under the bar but the Glens custodian recovered in time to tip it over to safety. McElroy was at the heart of most of Dungannon's best efforts and tested Hogg yet again on 36 minutes, this time with a low drive from the edge of the box. The Glens were creating few chances but shortly before the break almost poroduced a repeat of Dungannon's opener as Fra McCaffrey floated a great cross to the far post which looked to be dropping in but Dale Montgomery was on hand to head clear.
Manager Kernaghan clearly had much to say at half time as the Glens came out after the break looking like a side determined to get things back on track. Dungannon were pegged back into their own half as the visitors pressed forward and they were rewarded for their efforts 10 minutes into the half from an unlikely source. Niall Henderson sent a pass out to Addis who had somehow popped up on the left wing. The centre back cut inside a defender and fired low towards goal from the edge of the box. It was not the most powerful of shots but its accuracy and the slick surface helped it on its way past Coleman and into the bottom corner. Buoyed by this goal the Glens should really have taken the game by the scruff of the neck but six minutes later Dungannon restored their lead. Andrew Mitchell picked the ball up on the left, sent in a low driven cross and McElroy was on hand to send an unchallenged diving header past Hogg.
The Glens had no option but to try to push forward in search of a second equaliser but, seemingly deflated by the second Dungannon goal, were creating only half chances with Allen slicing wildly wide and Steven Gordon unable to get the ball properly under control after turning his marker well in the box. As the Glens tried to push forward Dungannon were finding gaps in the visiting defence and should really have extended their lead when Kris Lowe found substitute Alan Teggart in acres of space but he fired a good chance over the bar. The closest the Glens came was on 78 minutes when Marcus Kane sent a dipping long range effort towards goal but Coleman produced an equally impressive save to tip it over for a corner.
With 8 minutes left the game was effectively over as Dungannon doubled their lead after some neat build up play. The move finished with Jarlath O'Rourke sending in a low cross which was not properly cleared and Teggart was on hand to make up for his earlier miss and stroked the ball home to clinch the points.
Aaron Hogg, Barry Holland, Jonny Addis, Jay Magee, Marcus Kane, Niall Henderson (sub Ciaran Caldwell 64 mins), Steven Gordon, Fra McCaffrey (sub Patrick Cafolla 88 mins), Steven McCullough, Jonathan Smith (sub Conor McMenamin 54 mins), Curtis Allen
Photographs by Thomas Sewell