'More heartbreak as 10-man Swords are denied at the death
Soccer, Leinster Senior League: Tullamore Town 1 Swords Celtic 0
A gutsy performance from 10-man Swords Celtic ended in heartbreak as Tullamore clinched a winner with just seven minutes remaining.
Swords recovered from a slow start to the game and were beginning to get on top when they were hit with a setback following the sending-off of Johnny Lyons.
That red card came with half an hour to go, and despite some excellent defending they were caught out late on as Tullamore scored from a header after a well-worked short corner.
It's been a slow start to the season for Brendan Kennedy's Swords side who came into this game with just one win from their opening five games, but there have been signs of improvement over the last couple of weeks and they travelled to Offaly determined to take something from the game.
Tullamore started much the brighter, however, and looked dangerous early on as Swords sat back.
As the half progressed Swords began to get a bit more possession as Tullamore struggled to make much inroads into the final third. However, Swords only real chance in a quiet first half fell to midfielder Graham Leahy who went close with a shot from distance.
The second half started with Swords picking up the pace and beginning to win most of the battles around the middle of the pitch. Andrew Bermingham was finding a bit more space against the Tullamore defence and it felt as if a goal was imminent from the visitors. However, their momentum was checked on the hour mark when Lyons reacted to a poor challenge from one of the Tullamore midfielders which saw the Swords defender receive his second yellow card, thus reducing his side to 10 men.
The visitors defended for all they were worth for the final 30 minutes and looked disciplined at the back as Tullamore struggled to make a breakthrough.
However, with seven minutes to go a tiring Swords fell behind after a well-worked goal from the hosts. The Offaly side took a short corner before swinging in a cross which was flicked home by the home striker to finally break the deadlock.
Swords came on strong late on in search of an equaliser and came agonisingly close in the final minute when Darragh McCormack's goal-bound shot was blocked on the line by a Tullamore defender. It was a tough pill to swallow, but Kennedy will be pleased by the heart and desire his players showed.
Swords Celtic: Stephen Trimble, Adam Bolton, Stephen Blake (Tom McCarthy), Jonathan Lyons, Graham Duff, Darragh McCormack, Eoin Jones, Graham Leahy, Anthony Burke (Robert Bolton), Adam McGinn (Sean Kelly), Andrew Bermingham.