IRISH LEAGUE: Darren Murray on target for Matthew Tipton’s Warrenpoint Town

Warrenpoint's Darren Murray
Warrenpoint's Darren Murray

Darren Murray’s second half strike proved enough for Warrenpoint Town to get off the mark for the new campaign as they edged out a plucky Ards at Milltown on Saturday.

‘Duzzle’ struck just after the hour mark for his third goal in as many games to settle a game was that more scrappy than anything else.

But it won’t matter to the home side as they bounced back from successive defeats to Glenavon and Crusaders to open their account for the season and that will please manager Tipton.

The result will give them belief that they can compete at this level and they will look to build on that result in the coming weeks.

There was more action in the opening 10 minutes of the second period than there was in the entire first half with chances at either end of the pitch to break the deadlock.

A neat link-up between Darren Murray and Conor McMenamin saw the latter shoot over when well placed three minutes after the restart for Warrenpoint before Scott Davidson got in down the right for Ards by Jonny Parr had his angles correct and made the save before the ball was eventually scrambled out of the box.

McMenamin then curled a speculative left-footed effort just over the bar with Ards keeper Aaron Hogg scrambling before Town captain Stephen Moan cleared a Johnny Taylor header off the line.

A goal was in the offing and it duly arrived for Matthew Tipton’s men on 63 minutes. A cross from the left by Liam McKenna was only partially cleared by the Ards defence.

It fell to Murray on the edge of the box for the striker to blast home his third goal of the season and give his side the lead.

Ards almost responded within three minutes with Keke bringing the best of out of Parr from a curling effort from inside the box that the keeper did superbly to tip over the bar.

Ards missed a golden opportunity to level seconds from the end of normal time when sub Carl McComb scooped the ball over the bar from inside the six-yard box when it looked easier to score.

Warrenpoint Town: Parr, Foster, McCreery, Moan, Lyttle, Mackle (TJ Murray 90), McMenamin, D Murray, Forde (M Murray 79), McKenna, McCafferty

Subs not used: S Murray, Lynch, Reilly

Ards: Hogg, Hall, Taylor, Byers, McMillen, Frazer, Davidson, Tommons, McAllister, Keke (Liggett 72), McLellan (McComb 72)

Subs not used: Johnstone, Hanley, McIleenan

Referee: Stephen Andrews