HomeSportSwifts secure dramatic comeback draw at Larne

Swifts secure dramatic comeback draw at Larne

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Larne players celebrate one of their four goals at Inver ParkDungannon Swifts mounted a dramatic late comeback to come from 4-1 down to draw 4-4 with champions Larne.Goals from Tomas Cosgrove and Joe Moore saw the sides go in level at half-time.Dylan Sloan and Andy Ryan strikes and an exquisite 77th-minute lob from Lee Bonis had Larne seemingly in control.Ben Gallagher unleashed a stunning shot past Ferguson on 85, then Tomas Galvin netted his side’s third after 89 and Dean Curry guided home a near-post header from a pinpoint free-kick on 95.That late three-goal salvo ensured that the Stangmore Park club took home the most unlikely of points, much to the delight of their band of travelling supporters.Larne welcomed back Shaun Want from suspension and Leroy Millar from injury as they aimed to bounce back from their 7-1 aggregate defeat by Kosovo champions Ballkani in the Europa Conference League third qualifying round.Rodney McAree, beginning his second spell as Dungannon manager following his summer switch from Glentoran, gave starts to summer recruits Chris Hegarty, Niall Owens, Kealan Dillon and Ethan Devine.Swifts are looking to improve on a disappointing 2022-23 campaign when they finished 11th, narrowly avoided relegation in a promotion-relegation play-off, and conceded in excess of 80 goals for the second consecutive season.Last season’s first-time champions Larne bossed the early proceedings and Sloan and Levi Ives were both off-target with efforts, while Millar had a shot blocked by Caolan Marron.The home side’s superiority paid off just before the half-hour mark when Ives’ deep cross from the left was met by Cosgrove, who rose above Owens and headed across goal and into the far corner beyond the despairing reach of Declan Dunne.Visiting skipper Hegarty blocked subsequent attempts by Ryan and Sloan in quick succession as Larne went in search of a second.Ten minutes before the break Swifts drew level however when Moore shrugged off a challenge from Aaron Donnelly, outpaced the Larne defender and rifled a low left-foot drive inside Ferguson’s near post.Dungannon began the second half brightly and Devine skewed a shot wide but soon after his side found themselves a goal behind again.Home captain Cosgrove cut the ball back and Sloan took one touch before drilling a low right-foot shot into the corner.Cosgrove went close himself soon after when he struck a well-struck effort inches wide, then Millar had a strong header from a corner well palmed away by Dunne.With 77 minutes gone, Bonis crossed from the left and strike partner Ryan applied the finish by side-footing into the net to extend Larne’s lead.That advantage was increased three minutes later as Bonis ran onto a through ball from Ryan and executed a perfect lob from outside the penalty area over the opposing stopper, who had strayed off his line.Five minutes from time, substitute Gallagher unleashed an unstoppable left-foot strike high into the net past Ferguson and Galvin’s composed finish over a defender in the 89th after Ferguson had come out of his goal reduced the deficit further.There was more late drama to come however as the Swifts salvaged a point five minutes into stoppage time when Curry headed home from the impressive Moore’s inswinging free-kick.

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