Jamie Megarry’s report of Swifts game

Posted : 9th August 2018 at 18:25:49

Linfield Swifts took a point from their opening league fixture with a 1-1 draw away to Glenavon Reserves last night thanks to Brandon Doyle’s equaliser early in the second half. It was a tight affair which could have swung either way.

Both teams included several first team players in need of match fitness. For Linfield, Gareth Deane impressed in goal, whilst Benny Moller Nielsen and Jordan Stewart got 67 minutes under their belts, coming through unscathed. Nielsen kept possession well and displayed a good range of passing, whilst Jordan Stewart looked dangerous in the ‘number 10’ role.

Glenavon had plenty of experience in their team with James Taylor in goal, Aaron Harmon in central midfield, Connor McCloskey on the wing and Andrew Mitchell up top.

Glenavon took the lead on 11 minutes with their first chance after a quiet start to the game when a low cross from the right side came all the way through to the back post where young striker Ross Hunter was on hand to tuck the ball home.

The Swifts were very unfortunate not to find themselves level five minutes later when Daniel Reynolds raced onto a through ball before rounding the goalkeeper, only to be denied by a heroic goal-line clearance by a covering Glenavon defender.

Reynolds went close again midway through the first half with a crisp strike from 25 yards out but it whistled a whisker past the far post.

HT GLENAVON RES 1-0 LINFIELD SWIFTS

Jordan Stewart turned smartly and made space for a shot from 20 yards within minutes of the restart, he hit the ball sweetly but it flew just over Taylor’s crossbar.

The equaliser would soon come, however. Neat play down the right allowed Linfield to get the ball into the box and Brandon Doyle stormed into the box from a left wing position to produce a sublime finish, curling the ball into the far top corner with a cushioned finish on his right foot. 1-1.

Things almost got even better for David Dorrian’s Swifts when Brandon Doyle pulled the ball across to Daniel Reynolds but luck wasn’t on the striker’s side as his shot cannoned back off the crossbar.

Glenavon were also searching for a winner as Aaron Harmon drilled a vicious strike just over from distance, before Gareth Deane denied the Lurgan Blues a second, once again standing tall to block a close range strike from striker Ross Hunter.

FT GLENAVON RES 1-1 LINFIELD SWIFTS
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