Late Smith strike seals vital victory for Warrenpoint

Warrenpoint's Padraig Smith scored the winner against Ballinamallard

Warrenpoint's Padraig Smith scored the winner against Ballinamallard

It was the late late show at Ferney Park for visitors Warrenpoint Town.

A 93rd minute strike saw Warrenpoint steal an important victory at Ferney Park which leaves them three points behind Ballinamallard with a game in hand.

It was substitute Padraig Smith who cut in from the right to unleash a left foot shot from inside the penalty box into the far post which sealed the game.

Warrenpoint manager Barry Gray said he was delighted with the result.

“Our run of form of late is one of the best for us. Coming to Ferney Park is never easy. We conceded four goals in the first half from set plays, but thankfully only two of them matter. But I’m delighted with the full three points,” said Gray.

He praised teenage keeper Blaine Hughes for his performance, coming in as a late replacement.

“You certainly couldn’t blame him for any of the goals and he has pulled off a couple of fine saves in the second half to keep us in it. So fair credit to him,” added Gray.

“It’s fantastic run. Going to Linfield next week is hard at the best of times, but the points that we have picked up have given us good confidence within the players.

Ballinamallard manager Whitey Anderson admitted he was really gutted at the result.

“We totally dominated the second half, but if you don’t take your chances you don’t win games,” he said.

“Warrenpoint kept going to the end but we should have had the game sown up in the first half.”

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“The young keeper made three very good saves, but I have to ask should we have scored them. It is a very bad result for us. Can’t fault the commitment and workrate of our players.

“What was disappointing was that our three substitutions were forced on us. It didn’t give us the options we wanted to use. It was just one of those days. We just going to have to keep our heads down and work hard. We know we are in a battle and hopefully we can turn the corner.”

Anderson added he wanted to see replays of the two disallowed Ballinamallard goals in the first half.

“The reality is that we have scored 10 less goals than any other team this calendar year. If you don’t score goals you don’t win games. We scored two goals from set plays today and that’s where our problem lies.”

Ballinamallard had two goals disallowed in the first half from Mark Stafford, both questionable off side decisions.

The game had been looking like a share of the spoils for both sides with a four goal first half.

Ballinamallard opened their account when a Jason McCartney free kick was headed home by David Kee after a perfectly timed run.

But a minute later Town were back level with a wonder strike from Daniel Hughes, hitting an unstoppable effort from 25 yards into the top corner.

The vistors went ahead when Stephen Hughes was put through inside the Ballinamallard penalty box to shoot home into the far post.

Before the half hour though Mallards were back on level terms,, this time when Mark Stafford headed home a McCartney corner.




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