Football: Moyola Park draw with Sport and Leisure Swifts

A chance for Moyola Park FC
A chance for Moyola Park FC

Moyola Park 1 Sport and Leisure Swifts 1 -

Moyola Park had Sport and Leisure Swifts as visitors for the second time this season for this league fixture.

On the first occasion in the League Cup the home side came out victorious on penalty kicks to earn a second round home tie against Glentoran.

The two sides came into this league fixture with full points from the two games played with Moyola Park edging the west Belfast visitors into second place in the table on goal difference.

The home side looked to be on the way to securing all three points until late in the second half when Neil Corr equalised from the penalty spot after Moyola’s central defender Steven Kelly was deemed guilty of tugging his opponent’s shirt.

Moyola Park started off on the attack and dominated exchanges for most of the opening half. A Jason Paul strike was well saved by Damien Nugent early in the half.

Chris Dowie found the back of the Swifts’ net early in the half but a controversial offside decision denied him a goal. Steven Kenning did give Moyola Park the lead shortly afterwards when he was put in the clear by a Craig McAllister pass which caught the visitors’ defence napping and ‘keeper Nugent could do nothing to prevent the goal.

Moyola Park looked the more likely team to score throughout the rest of the half but Dowie, Kenning and Eugene Gallagher all missed goal scoring opportunities.

Gallagher brought out the best in Nugent when he met a cross from Jason Paul and rocketed the ball goalwards, but the ‘keeper just managed to get a touch at the expense of a corner. At the other end Marty Farniok was never really tested.

Pat McAllister’s Swifts were more aggressive throughout the second period but again it was Moyola Park which created most of the scoring opportunities. Conor Deane replaced Moyola Park’s goal scorer Kenning during the second half.

A great through ball from Michael Walsh found Robbie Lucas whose shot was saved at the near post by Nugent. Steven McQuillan cleared the danger when a Swifts’ shot came off the post.

McAllister introduced all three substitutes during the half and it was one of them Corr who slotted the ball past Farniok from the penalty spot to earn the visitors a fortunate point.

The outcome of this game and the results of the others in NIFL Championship Two left the two clubs still in first and second position in the table with Mervyn Pattison’s men still ahead on goal difference.

However Moyola Park’s dominance during the game left home followers feeling that it was two points dropped rather than one gained.

Moyola Park: Marty Farniok, Craig McAllister, Gareth Stewart, Steven McQuillan, Steven Kelly, Michael Walsh, Robbie Lucas, Eugene Gallagher, Chris Dowie, Steven Kenning (Conor Deane), Jason Paul.

Substitutes (unused): Maurice Curtis, Sean McCabe, David Paul, Mark Waddell.

Sport and Leisure Swifts: Damien Nugent, Patrick McDonnell, Michael McMullan, Stephen Tully, James Daly, Gavin Johnston, Ryan McAuley, Pierce Tully, Kevin Lynch, Darren Gallagher, Martin Cunningham.

Substitutes: Liam Carland, Neil Corr, Declan Moore, John Brady, James McGrogan.