WARRENPOINT 0 PORTADOWN 0
Warrenpoint Town picked up what could well prove to be a valuable point in their battle to avoid relegation with a plucky display against Portadown in what was a decent encounter but ultimately one that failed to produce any goals.
It was an open first half with plenty of chances at both ends but with neither side able to break the deadlock in what was a lively opening 45 minutes.
It was the visitors who had the first opportunity of the match in the second minute when Peter McMahon went through only for Warrenpoint’s Jonny Cowan to get back and make a last ditch interception.
Barry Gray’s side then began to gain a foothold in the game and had a number of chances to go in front. Daniel Hughes was first to try for goal but his 20-yard shot went wide of the left post. Garry Breen then denied Hughes with a block after he had been put through by Conor McDonald.
Stephen Hughes was the first to test Billy Brennan, in as a late replacement after David Miskelly picked up an injury in the warm-up, with the keeper equal to his effort in the tenth minute before John McGuigan’s goalbound effort was deflected inches wide of the left post by Breen two minutes later.
The Ports then started to create chances of their own with Gary Twigg getting on the end of a through ball by Mark McAllister but Warrenpoint keeper Jonny Parr was off his line quickly to smother the danger.
Ronne McFall’s side should have gone in front nine minutes before the break when Parr came out to gather another McAllister through ball. However, he spilled it and McMahon was on hand to latch onto the loose ball but he somehow contrived to fire into the side netting with the goal at his mercy.
After Ken Oman came on to replace the injured Breen shortly before the break, Brennan then had to be alert to stop Stephen Hughes’ shot on 43 minutes before, a minute later, Daniel Hughes weaved his way past three Portadown players on the right before firing in a stinging effort that Brennan did well to beat out at his near post.
Warrenpoint had the better of the exchanges in the early part of the second period and after Ruairi Devlin ended a strong run with a weak shot, the hosts spurned a glorious opportunity to break the deadlock.
Robert Garrett lost the ball in midfield and Daniel Hughes then outpaced Keith O’Hara before sidestepping Brennan inside the box. However, at the worst possible moment, the Warrenpoint striker lost his footing slightly and the end result saw his shot go into the side netting with an open goal in front of him.
At the other end of 74 minutes, Portadown were denied by a superb reaction save from Parr as Twigg poked a Chris Casement corner goalwards in a crowd of players. It looked as if the breakthrough had come only for Parr to somehow get a hand to the ball from Twigg’s point blank effort.
Warrenpoint Town: Parr, Cowan, McDonald, S Hughes, Smith, McGuigan, M Hughes, McGuigan, McVeigh, Devlin, King
Subs not used: M McCabe, Boyle, Frazer, Grant, Forsyth
Portadown: Brennan, Casement, Redman, O’Hara, Breen (Oman 40), McMahon (Conaty 70), Mackle, McAllister (Murray 70), Mouncey, Twigg, Garrett
Subs not used: Richardson