Warrenpoint secure first point of season in draw with Cliftonville

Warrenpoint's Darren King with Cliftonville's Jay Donnelly
Warrenpoint's Darren King with Cliftonville's Jay Donnelly

WARRENPOINT TOWN 2 CLIFTONVILLE 2

Cliftonville lost their 100 per cent record on Sunday as a dogged Warrenpoint Town collected their first point of the season following an exciting draw at Milltown.

After going behind to a Jordan Dane own goal, strikes from Stephen and Mark Hughes put the ‘Point in front at the break only for Martin Murray to earn the Reds a share of the spils.

It was Cliftonville who dominated the early possession but never really troubled Johnny Parr in the Warrenpoint goal in the opening quarter of an hour.

However, they did open the scoring on 16 minutes but, unfortunately for Warrenpoint, it as one of their own players who put the ball through his own net.

Martin Donnelly swung a corner in from the right and when Johnny Flynn was just unable to get his head to it, home centre-back Jordan Dane could only slide the ball past Parr and into the net from just outside the six yard box.

The more the half wore on, the more Barry Gray’s side began to come into the match and they equalised ten minutes before the interval. A ball down the left hand side saw Daniel Hughes outmuscle Caoimhin Bonner before getting to the byline and cutting the ball back for his brother Stephen, who coolly sidefooted it into the bottom left hand corner from 15 yards.

If that was a well worked goal from the home side, their second four minutes before the break was a stunner from an individual point of view.

Collecting the ball from John McGuigan all of 30 yards out, left-back Mark Hughes took a touch before unleashing a thunderbolt of a strike that flew out of the reach of Cliftonville keeper Peter Burke and in off the right hand post to put the hosts ahead.

After Stephen Moan had tested Burke from 25 yards out before the hour, Daniel Hughes went close twice in the space of a minute just after the hour mark. Firstly, he shot wide from the edge of the box and then got the better of Bonner again to cut in from the left before cracking in a close range shot that was beaten out by Burke at his near post.

However, it was Tommy Breslin’s men who levelled on 68 minutes when Warrenpoint failed to deal with a corner from the left and the ball fell to sub Martin Murray just inside the area and he placed his left footed shot through a crowd of players and past Parr to make it 2-2.

Breslin was then sent to the stand by Referee Raymond Crangle with six minutes of normal time left for something he appeared to says to fourth official Evan Boyce as he vented his frustration at his side not being awarded a free-kick on the edge of the box after David McDaid had gone down.

It had little bearing on the remainder of the match though as neither side could find a winner with the visitors looking the most likely to get it.

Warrenpoint Town: Parr, King, M Hughes, Smith (Murray 65), Moan, McGuigan (Murphy 89), S Hughes, D Hughes, Dane, Bagnall, Boyle

Subs not used: McVeigh, Anderson, Rooney

Cliftonville: Burke, Bonner, Flynn, Curran, McMullan (Garrett 59), McDaid, M Donnelly, Seydak, Catney, J Donnelly (Murray 59), Cosgrove (McGovern 37)

Subs not used: Devlin, Brennan

Referee: Raymond Crangle (Belfast)