Our first selection of 2019 has us covering midfield force Seanan Clucas who scored the headed winner the last time these teams met in November. Dungannon would not be the physically biggest or strongest team in the Northern Irish Premier League, but Clucas is expected to be the one to counter that state of affairs, certainly in the midfield vistas.

His first activity was a sharp turn to dampen down some Glentoran foraging which he did through his first pass down the left-hand side ended up straight into touch. He showed a fair turn of pace to get into the box to try and meet a cross from the right but was unlucky. This immediate speed and presence was not noted by the opposition and would have a deadly effect later in the game.

Perhaps encouraged by his November goal, he was keen to get forward when he could. He took a bad blow though, to his leg, in trying to get a shot off at the edge of the penalty area. This involved some lengthy sideline treatment but it is clear he thinks about winning the ball first and foremost.

He had one or two dodgy moments, losing possession near the touchline and does appear to need full balance when under pressure. Whilst willingness to receive the ball in aid of a colleague is to be commended, he needs to be aware of his own personal ‘out’ to make sure he does not place his team in danger. This can only lead to a tendency to foul in dangerous areas. Once again fairly far forward he tried a cushioned reverse type header which would have been nice if someone had been on his wavelength. Full credit however for trying to make hay out of a difficult ball.

He outmuscled Herron in a midfield duel to release the ball forward in a strong piece of play and this is very much home territory for him. This was followed soon after in a defensive guise this time arresting the same player to the right of his penalty box.

However, not long after, his concentration slipped as he let Gordon run past him and this was only remedied at the cost of a free kick. He will have been dismayed just before half-time as Herron and Gordon combined behind him to allow the latter to open the scoring against his team. Nonetheless, he kept his regular game ticking over, firstly closing Davidson near the touchline and despite a clip by Gordon, staying on his feet to drive forward even if his pass went straight to Calum Birney.

He once again drove hard into the Glens’ penalty box hoping to reach a header and took a fair thump between defenders and the ground, so good to see his eagerness to attack the ball. These were the more vigorous moments of his game and in between, he quietly swept up and kept the ball moving for his team.

He had a good second-half starting off with excellent chest control of the ball followed by a great volley over to his right full-back. Once he gets going he can be hard to stop both in defensive and offensive mode. These qualities had a hand in Dungannon’s critical second and third goals. Firstly he was such an aerial menace to Glentoran’s Willie Garrett it led to the centre-half heading into his own net. Shortly afterwards, Clucas’ haunting of the same man out on the touchline had the midfielder pick up the shocking back-pass to drive hard into the penalty box to set up his team’s third goal.

This was excellent midfield play and he still had time to get involved with a Glentoran player to pick up an unnecessary booking. Bearing in mind he has only just returned from suspension, this unnecessary belligerence is something he needs to consider, as he will pick up a few bookings in the course of battle every match. He, however, was back in position to strongly head away the resulting free kick.

In a game where Dungannon picked up their first away three points of the season his contribution was huge to the Swifts’ successful day. He has good positional understanding, screens his defence well and is able to add sustainable midfield threat to his forwards.

He has a great mix of physical and athletic potency which meant he appeared to be in many places at once. The team use this well in the air too as Glentoran will sorely testify. The 4-2 win which Dungannon acquired from the match had a lot to do with the winning of the midfield battle. The extent of this, as already recorded was a pace and pressure exerted which the Glentoran midfield were unable to match. He should be pleased with his performance in the number six shirt.