W’point T 5 Institute 1
Daniel Hughes scored a hat-trick as Warrenpoint Town ran riot at Milltown to crush bottom side Institute and keep their own hopes of avoiding a relegation play off very much alive with four games remaining.
Hughes scored from the penalty spot either side of the break with a brilliant strike from 18 yards in between times. While Davitt Walsh pulled one back for Paul Kee’s men midway through the second half who had Aaron Walsh sent off, further strikes from Darren Forsyth and the superb Stephen Hughes sealed a well-deserved win for Barry Gray’s home side.
Warrenpoint began the brighter of the two sides and took the lead with a twelfth minute penalty, A surging run through the middle from left back Mark Hughes saw him make his way into the ‘Stute penalty area and when he went to cut inside Aaron , the defender hung a leg out and Referee Mervyn Smyth had no option but to award the spot kick.
Hughes stepped up to send keeper Corey Wilson the wrong way as the ball nestled in the top right corner of the net for 1-0.
The hosts had the next chance of the match just past the midway point of the first period when Stephen Hughes won a flick on down the left and Daniel Hughes latched onto it before firing in a shot with the outside of his right boot that Wilson held.
The standout moment of what was a tepid first half arrived four minutes before the break as Daniel Hughes scored an absolutely wonderful second strike second goal.
Stephen Hughes slipped the ball to his brother on the edge of the box and Daniel took one touch to flick it up before unleashing a stunning volley from 18 yards that flew past Wilson and into the top left corner.
The result was put beyond doubt just four minutes into the second half as Hughes completed his hat-trick with his second penalty conversion.
After he played the ball into Stephen Hughes on the edge of the area, the playmaker looked odds on to score but only succeeded in poking his effort wide before going down under pressure from Aaron Walsh.
The Referee deemed there to have been contact between the Stute man and Hughes and immediately pointed to the spot before brandishing a straight red card for the unfortunate Walsh. Daniel Hughes grabbed his and his side’s third when he placed the ball just out of Wilson’s reach and into the bottom right corner of the net.
Three should have become four on 65 minutes when Warrenpoint sub Darren Forsyth played an excellent ball in from the right so set up the unmarked Ruairi Devlin, but the winger only succeeded in sidefooting wide with his left foot when he should have at least hit the target.
Paul Kee’s men pulled one back a minute later as a substitute of their own, Paddy McLaughlin pulled the ball back from the left touchline and with Warrenpoint keeper Jonny Parr out of position, the hard working Davitt Walsh was on hand to stoop and head into the empty net.
However, any notion of a Stute comeback was put to bed with 17 minutes remaining when the home side got their fourth to all but seal a vital victory.
Darren King head Stephen Hughes’ corner to Forsyth who in turn flicked towards goal. Wilson managed to tip the ball onto the bar and when it rebounded Paudie Smith tried to force it over the line. But it was Forsyth who was on hand to get the final touch and force it over the line.
The fifth arrived with ten minutes left on the clock when Forsyth slid the ball through to Stephen Hughes who kept his cool to slot past Wilson from ten yards.
Warrenpoint Town: Parr, Cowan (Boyle 61), McDonald, S Hughes, Smith, McGuigan (Frazer 66), M Hughes, McVeigh, D Hughes (Forsyth 61), Devlin, King
Subs not used: M McCabe, Grant
Institute: Wilson, Crown, O’Donnell (McLaughlin 57), D Curry, McKeever, A Walsh, McManus (McFadden 57), Forker, D Walsh, McCrudden, Hume
Subs not used: Young, S Curry, Burk
Referee: Mervyn Smyth (Dundonald)