W’point 0 Cliftonville 2
Goals at the tail end of each half kept Cliftonville within two points of the top of the table as they saw off the spirited challenge of Warrenpoint Town at Stangmore Park.
Liam Boyce and George McMullan found the net in what proved to be the difference between the sides in what was a fast paced, exciting game of football.
Boyce should have opened the scoring two minutes before the half hour following confusion in the Warrenpoint defence.
A long ball out of defence saw Jonny Parr and Stephen Moan leave it for one another only for Boyce to nip in and steal the ball. With Parr stranded, Boyce’s attempted chip drifted wide of the left post with the goal at his mercy.
The opener eventually arrived four minutes before the break and, having the bulk of the possession and territorial advantage, it was certainly deserved on the balance of play. Donnelly’s free kick from the right fell to Boyce inside the area, his shot was blocked by Jonny Cowan but Boyce made no mistake with the rebound, blasting home past a helpless Parr from ten yards out.
The result was put beyond doubt in the final minute of normal time when McMullan converted from the spot. Referee Raymond Hetherington harshly adjudged Mark Hughes to have deliberately handled the ball in the area as the defender fell to the ground. However, McMullan made the points safe when he sidefooted into the top right corner.
Warrenpoint Town: J Parr, King, M Hughes, Cowan, Moan, S Parr, Bagnall (G McCabe 79), Smith, D Hughes, S Hughes, Devlin (Havern 63)
Subs not used: Grant, Kearns, McMullan
Cliftonville: Devlin, McMullan, Seydak, McGovern, Smyth, Johnston, Catney, Curran (Doherty 85), Donnelly (Murray 77), Boyce, Gormley (Winchester 85(
Subs not used: R Scannell, O’Carroll
Referee: Raymond Hetherington (Dungannon)