Homecoming important for Barry Gray’s basement battlers

Dungannon's Stefan Lavery with Warrenpoint's Stephen McCabe

Dungannon's Stefan Lavery with Warrenpoint's Stephen McCabe

Barry Gray is looking forward to returning home as Warrenpoint Town prepare to end a four-month exile from their Milltown stadium.

The newly-promoted side will play their first proper home game against Glenavon on Friday night.

And they will go into the match four points clear of the bottom after this victory at the home of their recent landlords, Dungannon Swifts.

A double from Daniel Hughes saw Warrenpoint come from behind to claim a prized win.

And as he prepares for a return home, Gray admits everyone is proud to bringing top-flight football to Warrenpoint.

“We play Glenavon on Friday night and it’s a game we are all looking forward to,” he said.

“It’s a special game not just for the players and myself, but all the club members who have been working hard behind the scenes to get us back.

“It will be a great night, irrespective of the result, and it’s a moment that only comes around once.”

In a scrappy and at times ill-tempered game – Gray was sent from the dugout and 11 players booked – Warrenpoint came from behind to win.

It had all started so well for Dungannon with a goal after just 92 seconds.

A foul on Chris Lavery drew a free-kick and Ryan Harpur opted to slide the ball to Matt Hazley, who took a touch and drilled a left-footed effort into the far corner.

But Warrenpoint recovered from their early setback and deservedly levelled 10 minutes before the break.

Timmy Grant clipped a superb ball through to Hughes, who outpaced Adam McMinn before deftly lifting the ball over the goalkeeper with his right foot.

The winner came when Hughes picked the ball up in midfield and hit a 20-yard shot which found the net via the woodwork.

“We were pushing for the winner and I got the ball into my feet, I turned and it just opened up for me,” said Hughes.

“We didn’t really play to our full potential because the game was very stop-start with the referee blowing up for silly fouls that he could have let go.

“I thought we could have offered a bit more, but overall I felt we did well and deserved the win.

“We have the ability in the squad to stay up. Getting back to our own place at Milltown, with more fans there, will be a big help to us.”




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