Groundhog Day for Barry Gray and Warrenpoint Town

It was a case of Groundhog Day for Barry Gray and Warrenpoint Town as they slipped to defeat at the hands of Coleraine on Saturday.

Tuesday, 13th April 2021, 5:00 pm

It was the third time this season the Bannsiders have edged out the Point 2-1.

And for the third time Gray’s side pushed the title chasers all the way before ultimately ending up with nothing to show for their efforts.

The Milltown boss was slightly frustrated they ended up pointless, but said they had to look at the bigger picture.

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Warrenpoint Town boss Barry Gray

“That’s three times this year Coleraine have beaten us 2-1, and narrowly,” said Gray.

“And you’d question at least two of them of those games as to whether to whether we were unlucky not to take something out of them or not.

“We have to be realistic, 12 months ago we were sitting rock bottom

“Coleraine are pushing for top spot in the league, and have been all year, and we’ve competed with them strongly in all three games.

“That’s massive progress for us. It doesn’t stop us getting frustrated about results like today, but we have to look at the bigger picture of where we’ve come from and where we are now, and be optimistic about where we can go moving forward.”

The hosts took the lead in spectacular fashion as Kealan Dillon fired home from outside the box.

But the lead only lasted three minutes as Stephen O’Donnell headed in from a set-piece.

The Bannsiders skipper then headed in a winner with ten to go to leave Gray frustrated with the manner of the goals and what he thought was a foul on Gabriel Sava in the build up to O’Donnell’s second.

“Our management of going one up was poor, and our management of going 1-1 was poor,” he said.

“You see free kicks given 99 per cent of the time for players coming together in the box, whether it is or isn’t.

“There’s this notion of keeper protection

“So when he’s in that area and there’s players around him and there’s contact, more times than enough it’s a free kick out.

“You could see by my reaction on the bench I wasn’t happy with it, but if I’m wrong I’m wrong.

“The keeper should have caught the ball when it came in the first time and there would have been no complaints.

“Our frustration has probably been boiled over from Sava’s lack of decision in the first place.

“That cost us dearly to be honest. At that point of the game we just needed to stay in it.

“But outside that I’m delighted with the players’ performance and application in this type of schedule.”

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