WARRENPOINT TOWN 2 ARDS 0
Warrenpoint Town moved six points clear of Ards in the table as Stephen McCabe’s double gave them their third win in four games in a match that was again dogged by floodlight problems.
There were some moments of concern for everyone inside Milltown when the same set of lights that went out causing the abandonment of Friday night’s game with Glenavon, went out once again three minutes after kick off and then at half-time. With the second period delayed by 25 minutes, the game eventually got underway and finished just as that same stanchion went out right on the final whistle. .
It was visitors Ards who were the more positive in the opening exchanges, penning Warrenpoint back into their own half for the majority of the first 20 minutes without ever creating anything of note. However, their first chance did arrive midway through the half.
A long clearance out of defence found William Faulkner racing clear down the right wing. He cut in to outpace ‘Point captain John Boyle before firing in a shot that looked to have been touched onto the bar by Town keeper Jonny Parr but the officials awarded the goal kick.
That incensed the Ards management and players and insult was added to injury just a minute later when Warrenpoint took the lead against the run of play.
The ball arrived to Stephen McCabe just outside the penalty area and the midfielder’s speculative shot looked to be easy enough for Ards keeper Graeme McKibbin to hold but he somehow managed to spill it and the ball squirmed over the line.
Warrenpoint were then reduced to ten men just before the hour mark when right-back Darren King was shown a second yellow card and subsequent red card for his second foul in quick succession on 59 minutes but it was just two minutes later that the hosts doubled their lead.
A neat move down the right saw Daniel Hughes dink the ball through for Liam Bagnall on the edge of the box and the midfielder squared for McCabe to sweep home past McKibbin.
At the other end, Ryan Henderson saw his close range effort easily stopped by Parr and Faulkner then wasted a good opportunity to hit the target on 69 minutes when he picked up Henderson’s cross from the left but could only blast well over the crossbar when he should have done better.
Ards really should have got themselves back into it with 17 minutes to go when captain James Cully found himself unmarked six yards out but his header from a Ryan Moffatt free-kick was straight at Parr. Warrenpoint almost scored the third and what would have been insurance goal on 83 minutes when Daniel Hughes cut in from the left and curled in a brilliant effort only for McKibbin to tip it over the bar before Parr then pushed out a header from Steven Gordon two minutes later at the other end.
Warrenpoint Town: J Parr, King, Moan, Boyle, M Hughes, Parr, Bagnall, Devlin (Cowan 65), McCabe, D Hughes (Grant 84), M Hughes
Subs not used: Kearns, Smith, Havern
Ards: McKibbin, Moffatt, Gordon, Armstrong, Cully, Smith, Henderson, Faulkner, McMillen (Arthurs H-T), Davidson (Dougan H-T), McClelland (McDowell 71)
Subs not used: Gibson, McCullough
Referee: Tim Marshall (Irvinestown)