New pitch at Triagh-a-Lough
Fanad United moved back up to second place in the league after a 2-1 derby victory over Swilly Rovers at a blustery Traigh-a-Loch on Thursday evening.
Fanad United 2
Swilly Rovers 1
The game marked the re-opening of the main pitch at Traigh-a-Loch.
Playing with the aid of the strong breeze, Swilly started the stronger of the two teams and put Fanad under pressure from the start.
Tony McNamee had the first chance in the third minute when his snap shot from the edge of the box went just wide of the post.
Two minutes later McNamee had another chance when his well hit shot from 30 yards swerved in the wind and Shane Graham done very well to push the shot over the bar.
The next chance of note came in the 20th minute and again McNamee was involved when his free from the right hand side flew just wide of the post. A minute later Fanad missed a great chance to take the lead.
After some great hold up play by Eunan Kelly, he sent Daire McDaid racing towards goal but Caolan Bolton in the Swilly nets made a fine save to deny him.
There was drama in the 23rd minute when an electrical fault caused some of the floodlights to fail and ref Packie Coll took the players of the field for 20 minutes.
After re-start there was little in the way of clear goal mouth action. Swilly forced a succession of corners but failed to make the breakthrough.
The opening period of the second half was a scrappy affair with both sides struggling with the increasing breeze.
Ten minutes into the half Seimi ‘Nanny’ Friel made a great break from left back and his ball through to Marty McAteer was just too strong and the danger was cleared. The game then burst into life with 16 minutes remaining.
When Fanad were awarded a free kick out on the left, Marty McAteer swung in an excellent ball and it was met by Seimi ‘Coshia’ Friel who powered his header into the bottom corner.
The lead however lasted less than a minute as Swilly hit back straight from the kick off. After some good work by Laurence Toland, he laid the ball back to left back Shaun Crossan and his shot from the edge of the box looped over the helpless Shane Graham.
Fanad weren't the be denied however and re-took the lead three minutes later. Davitt Walsh picked the ball up in mid-field and he fed Keelin McElwaine down the right, when McElwaine cut back inside and took a shot it took a big deflection off a Swilly defender and nestled in the bottom corner.
Swilly to their credit continued to attack and almost got an equaliser with three minutes remaining when Fanad ‘keeper Graham made a great save to deny Marty McDaid.
As Swilly pushed froward looking for an equlaiser they were almost caught out in the final minute when a flowing move involving Davitt Walsh and Keeling McElwaine sent Marty McAteer away but his shot produced a fine save from Bolton.
Best for Fanad were Declan McGarvey, Seimi ‘Coshia’ Friel and Oisin Langan. Best for Swilly were Shaun Crossan, Laurence Toland and Dylan Hegarty
Fanad United: Shane Graham, Oisin Langan, Seimi ‘Nanny’ Friel, Shaun McElwaine, Seimi ‘Coshia’ Friel, Declan McGarvey, Matthew Crossan, Davitt Walsh, Marty McAteer, Daire McDaid (Keelin McElwaine 25), Eunan Kelly (Ciaran Gorman 80)
Swilly Rovers: Caolan Bolton, Ronan Boyce, Shaun Crossan, Dylan Hegarty, Damien Friel, Ryan Toland, Jordan Toland, Marty McDaid, Ricky Fisher, Tony McNamee, Laurence Toland
Referee: Packie Coll
Fanad United 2 Swilly Rovers 1
Saturday, January 28, 2.30pm
Letterkenny Rovers v Finn Harps Reserves Referee – Vincent McLoughlin; Assistants – Marty Quinn and Marty McGarrigle
Sunday, January 29, 2pm
Bonagee United v Fanad United Referee - Michael Connolly
Swilly Rovers v Derry City Reserves Referee – Marty McGarrigle; Assistants – Marty Quinn; Vincent McLoughlin