Glentoran: Gary Smyth’s delight at five-star display to see off Warrenpoint Town

Lukasz Gwiazda (left) and Darren Murray finished with two goals apiece in Glentoran's 5-0 weekend win at Warrenpoint Town. Pic by Pacemaker.
Lukasz Gwiazda (left) and Darren Murray finished with two goals apiece in Glentoran's 5-0 weekend win at Warrenpoint Town. Pic by Pacemaker.

Glentoran boss Gary Smyth was full of praise for his players’ defensive resolve and attacking instincts following Saturday’s 5-0 victory at Warrenpoint Town.

Lukasz Gwiazda - an early signing by Smyth - bagged a brace and Darren Murray also enjoyed double delight, alongside a Stephen Moan own goal.

Warrenpoint’s suffering will extend beyond the weekend woe following red cards for both Ciaran O’Connor and Fra McCaffrey.

“We have had matches this season where, if we had put our chances away we would have won comfortably, so it’s nice to score goals and keep a clean sheet,” Smyth told the Northern Ireland Football League social media account. “When we got the third goal I think they lost their discipline a wee bit which helped us as well.

“To score so early is a massive bonus for us because goals change games.

“Every time we came forward we looked as though we could score.”

It provided the Glens with the biggest win of a troubled campaign and only third league success on the road.

It also marked Smyth’s run in the hot-seat as a single defeat to league leaders Linfield across his five Danske Bank Premiership fixtures since stepping up as boss.

Warrenpoint Town boss Stephen McDonnell was left to reflect on an afternoon to forget.

“A couple of our young boys were fantastic at getting on the ball in the second half but unfortunately for us, the game was over in the first half,” he said on the Northern Ireland Football League social media account. “Ciaran (O’Connor) has been excellent for us but he is going out on a bit of a sour note, which is a shame.

“The game was over on set-plays alone.

“The referee was fine on the day - they were the correct decisions.

“It was a lack of discipline from our two players and I have no problem with the referee.”

The visitors opened the scoring with just 80 seconds on the clock as Gwiazda was on hand to head home Chris Gallagher’s corner-kick beyond Jared Thompson.

Another Gallagher set-piece - a free-kick - created problems for Warrenpoint and Gwiazda produced a repeat end product to steer his header past Thompson.

Murray, who previously spent time at Warrenpoint, increased his current club’s lead with a close-range effort on 24 minutes.

It arrived courtesy of another Gallagher corner-kick.

O’Connor’s dismissal for dissent was followed five minutes later by a red for McCaffrey following his challenge on John Herron.

The struggles continued for nine-man Warrenpoint in the closing seconds of the half when Murray made it 4-0 by slotting home off Robbie McDaid’s pass.

There was a rare sight of goal past the hour mark for Warrenpoint off a penalty kick but Mark Griffin could not steer his spot-kick attempt past Dwayne Nelson.

Thompson then produced a smart stop to push over Gwiazda’s attempt as the striker went in search of his hat-trick.

A fifth did arrive for Glentoran thanks to neat approach play by McDaid and pressure from Curtis Allen that led to Moan diverting the ball into his own net.

Warrenpoint Town: Thompson, Foster, Moan, O’Sullivan (Young, 62), McCaffrey, Scannell, O’Connor, Wallace, Donnelly (M.Lynch, 36), Hernany Marques (Griffin, 27), Magowan.

Subs (not used): Turker, Hughes, Reilly, Duffy.

Glentoran: Nelson, Garrett (McCarthy, 58), Kane, Birney, Gallagher (Allen, 57), Herron (Smith, 78), McDaid, Kerr, Pepper, Murray, Gwiazda.

Subs (not used): Morris, McMahon, Henderson, O’Neill.

Referee: Andrew Davey