Warrenpoint Town 1
Dungannon Swifts 1
Warrenpoint and Dungannon couldn’t be separated at Milltown in a game that didn’t showcase much free flowing football but plenty of effort.
The hosts took the lead just before half-time through John McGuigan but Dungannon levelled after the interval courtesy of Andrew Mitchell and they looked the more likely of both sides to go on and win it.
It was relatively drab first half with both sides cancelling out in the early stages and chances few and far between with Stephen Hughes dragging a shot wide in first ten minutes for Warrenpoint, who dominated possession in the first 45 minutes.
The home side gave a full debut to striker Jonny Frazer, on loan from Linfield, and he went down under David Armstrong’s challenge on 22 minutes but his penalty appeal was waved away by the referee.
The only real talking points in the first half hour were yellow cards for ‘Point pair Liam Bagnall and Mark Hughes and Dungannon’s Andrew Burns. However, the tie sprang to life three minutes before the interval as Barry Gray’s men broke the deadlock.
Darren Forsyth picked the ball up just outside the area before sliding a pass in behind Swifts left-back Jarlath O’Rourke and John McGuigan was on hand to slot past Andy Coleman and into the bottom left-hand corner for his second goal for the club since his January move from Glentoran.
The home side could have doubled their lead in first half stoppage time when the ball fell to Dermot McVeigh six yards out but the defender fired his shot over Coleman’s bar when he know he should have done better.
It took just seven minutes after the restart for the visitors to draw level with lightning quick counter-attack punishing some slack Warrenpoint play in the middle of the park.
Goalscorer McGuigan was dispossessed and that allowed Ryan Harpur to play the ball wide down the right to Gary Liggett. He centred to his striker partner Andrew Mitchell who took a touch before firing past Johnny Parr from close range.
With their tails up, Dungannon pressed for a second goal and Parr was forced to beat out a fierce Liggett strike from 22 yards and then deny Mitchell with an even better stop from the rebound although the striker was given offside. Parr again denied Liggett when he went through on 66 minutes with the keeper equal to his left-footed shot as Swifts began to dominate proceedings in the encounter.
After Frazer had shot wide from a good position after a ball over the top from Dermot McVeigh, once more, Parr was on hand to keep a marauding Dungannon out at the other end.
O’Rourke bombed into the Warrenpoint area but Parr pushed his point-blank range shot out before Jamie Glackin cracked the rebound wide from 18 yards.
Warrenpoint Town: Parr, Cowan (Smith 73), McDonald, McVeigh, S Hughes, Boyle (Devlin 56), McGuigan, M Hughes, Bagnall, Frazer, Forsyth (McCabe 73)
Subs not used: McCabe, Smith, Grant, Marron
Dungannon Swifts: Coleman, McCullough, Armstrong, Burns, O’Rourke, Hutchinson, Harpur, Glackin, Hazley, Mitchell (Lavery 78), Liggett
Subs not used: Fitzpatrick, Mullen, Douglas, Sanusi
Referee: P McGrath