Crusaders 2 Dungannon Swifts 3
Mincing is for steak , not for words- that was total garbage
The second Managers lunch of the Month preceded this match, enjoyable it was too. Rod Nawn took us back to his student days and the class of ’72 , heady days indeed. Waxing lyrically about players like McPolin, McFarland, Beckett and Fullerton , before waxing lyrically about his beloved BBC. Stephen Baxter told us what a great team he had, how the Co. Antrim Shield had been duly delivered since we last met and what a great bunch of lads he had to work with. Whipped into a frenzy by Mr Baxter , surely the Swifts would be lambs to the sacrificial Seaview altar, that was until Mr Nawn’s BBC colleague Paul Gilmour reminded us that he hadn’t commentated on a Crusaders victory this season.
Team news filtered in, Bell, Black and Morrow out, Magee, Doherty and Rainey in.
Mr Baxter had spent part of the week training with Heart of Midlothian, part of his coaching badge. Hearts team selection policy must have rubbed off, as a Vladimir Romanovesque decision to play the best centre back in the Irish League at left back, against one of the strongest attackers in Adamson, was straight out of the Gorgie self destruct manual.
Adamson’s aerial prowess, coupled with Morgan’s movement caused the Crues backline all sorts of trouble, thankfully Christopher(copyright FDJ) had the sort of day you wish on all returning ex players in front of goal, i.e. the Donkey’s hind quarters and the banjo both remained unscathed.
Doc could and should have put us one up , took an extra touch, when perhaps it wasn’t needed. After that it was really one way traffic , Magowan and Magee were continually out- muscled by Adamson , it was no surprise that he powered home a header for the Swifts first, and if body language is anything to go by Coatesy wasn’t too enamored being at left back.
One nil down at the break, Manager banned from addressing his troops, it was down to Terry and Charlie to earn their corn.
McMaster was replaced by Morrow, a player with a point to prove . Still one way traffic though, Morgan’s wayward shooting keeping us in the game. McCann replaced a tiring Doherty and Davy Rainey produced his best run of the match, storming round the terracing in a huff after being replaced by Arthurs. Forget extra stewards, it’s a nanny we need for the amount of times the toys come out of the pram.
The last 20 minutes Crusaders revert to hoofball and it pays off as a mêlée in the box results in Arthurs equalising with a mishit shot. Hardly had time to celebrate when McIlmoyle lashes Dungannon into the lead again. Panic stations now, Hoofball again, Morrow turns in the box, Penalty, Morrow takes it 2-2 deep in injury time as the ball squirms under Rouse. We’ve stolen a point today. One last attack from the Swifts , McCafferty isn’t closed down , bottom corner , Swift Justice as the three points head down the M1.
Keenan announced as MOTM, surprised , Didn’t command his box , unlike his opposite number and should have been punished by Morgan for an earlier mistake. Morrow confirmed Central midfield as his only position and was my MOTM, Should retain his place after Collins limped off with what looked a nasty hamstring injury.
We’re not out of the title race yet, however, it’s going to take one mighty run of results to pull it off now. The big wide open spaces of the Oval next up, here’s hoping we go back to 4-4-2 and the best players in their natural positions.
It’s broken Stephen, let’s refix it!!