WARRENPOINT 0 DUNGANNON 2
It was a deserved three points for visitors Dungannon Swifts as first half goals saw them ease to victory over Warrenpoint at Milltown.
Strikes from Andrew Mitchell and captain Ryan Harpur did the job for Darren Murphy’s men who dominated the first half and that was enough to see them emerge victorious.
After a tepid opening quarter of an hour, the game sprang to life in the 15th minute with Dungannon’s opening goal that came about after an awful defensive error from the home side.
A long ball over the top saw Town keeper Aaron Shanahan come out to the edge of his area to claim. Home captain John Boyle opted to step in to clear it but only succeeded in scuffing the ball straight to the feet of Mitchell, and with Shanahan stranded, the big Swifts striker coolly sidefooted it past him and into the empty net from 18 yards.
After Stephen Hughes and Daniel Hughes had both shot wide at the other end as Warrenpoint struggled to create anything of note in the first half, it was the visitors who deservedly doubled their lead just after the half-hour mark.
This time it was a diagonal ball over the top that set Terry Fitzpatrick scampering clear down the right wing after beating Warrenpoint’s offside trap. Fitzpatrick cut in before drawing Shanahan out and then squaring the ball to the inrushing Ryan Harpur who had the simplest of tasks to sidefoot into the empty net from six yards to make it 2-0.
Murphy’s men really should have put the result beyond doubt four minutes before half-time when they spurned a glorious opportunity to make it three.
Midfielder Kris Lowe played a neat one-two with Harpur on the edge of the Warrenpoint penalty area to go one-on-one with Shanahan but Lowe could only scoop his effort well over the ball from 12 yards when he should have scored.
It seemed that 12 minutes after the break were enough for Barry Gray to ring the changes as Mark Clarke, Mark McCabe and Stephen Murray replaced Boyle, Roy Kierans and Conor McDonald in what was Warrenpoint’s final throw of the dice even at that early of the second period.
While it was Gray’s men who had the bulk of the possession and territory in the second half, they never truly threatened Andy Coleman in the Dungannon goal…
Warrenpoint: Shanahan, King, M Hughes, McDonald (Murray 57), Moan, McVeigh, S Hughes, D Hughes, Kierans (McCabe 57), Bagnall, Boyle (Clarke 57)
Subs not used: Murphy, Smith
Dungannon: Coleman, Armstrong, Fitzpatrick (Teggart 81), Wilson, Hazley, Harpur, Mitchell (Burke 81), McElroy, McCaffrey, Montgomery, Lowe
Subs not used: O’Rourke, Addis, Mullan
Referee: Ian McNabb