Belfast Telegraph

Resurgent Town able to beat drop, says Murray

Glentoran 0 - Warrenpoint 4

By David Mason

Hotshot Martin Murray believes the only way is up for fast-improving Warrenpoint Town. The 23-year-old, who is on loan from Cliftonville until the end of the season, returned to terrorise former club Glentoran by bagging a brilliant double in a 4-0 Danske Bank Premiership triumph at The Oval.

Fellow ex-Glens ace John McGuigan hit a wonder goal, with substitute Johnny McMurray - also on a short-term loan deal from the Reds - finishing the rout which was the signal for a mass exodus of disgusted home supporters.

Barry Gray's braves have hauled their way back from what appeared to be a hopeless situation at the bottom of the table - where they were cut nine points adrift at one stage - to give themselves a real fighting chance of remaining in the top-flight.

They are now unbeaten in six games and have won their last three - against Coleraine, Portadown and now the Glens - which is a first since they joined the elite back in 2013.

The arrival of Murray, who has netted five times in four outings, and McMurray has been a major factor in the team's upturn in form.

"I've only been here for a short time, but I'm really surprised the club is at the bottom of the table," said Murray.

"There are some quality players here, everyone trains really well and prepares well for matches.

"This was a super performance at a tough venue. I don't think anyone could say we didn't deserve it. We played some impressive stuff and scored great goals.

"It's been a good move for me. I'm enjoying it because I'm playing every week. And the goals are a bonus."

Although his long-time ambition is to establish himself at Solitude, Murray insists his immediate aim is to help Warrenpoint out of their current predicament.

"My priority is keeping Warrenpoint in the Premiership," he added. "Every match is now a cup final. But after wins against the likes of Coleraine, Portadown and Glentoran, there is no reason why we can't push on.

"The next three games (against Ballinamallard, Dungannon and Carrick) are significant, they are now six-pointers.

"We are playing with confidence. Not too many teams come to The Oval, score four goals and keep a clean sheet. The type of football Warrenpoint play is similar to that of Cliftonville.

"To me the team shouldn't be in a relegation battle, but we can do something about that."

Murray admitted he was surprised with the time and space he was given before he lashed in his early opener, adding: "I probably had too much time. I had a little look up and just tried my luck. Elliott (Morris) was off his line a little bit and the ball dipped over him.

"For the second, I kept running and the defenders backed off. So I just had a go from distance and was delighted to see it hit the net.

"John's goal was probably the best - a great counter-attack that he finished superbly well. John was with me at the Glens as well. But just like myself, things didn't work out for him."

Glentoran manager Alan Kernaghan offered little in terms of excuses.

"You could say it was a bad day at the office, but it was worse than that," he said. "I can fully understand the fans' anger and frustration. Four defeats on the trot is just not acceptable. It's just nowhere near what we should be achieving with the players we have.

"I'm hugely disappointed and embarrassed. There was a lack of drive, a lack of fight and a lack of knowledge.

"We've been bad in the past, but this by far is the worst - a new low.

"We never even had a shot at goal. How are you supposed to win a game of football if you don't shoot? It's baffling."

GLENTORAN: Morris, Holland, McCullough (Scullion, 59 mins),Birney, Magee, Morrow, Kane, Gordon, Allen, Lavery, McKee (McCaffrey, 46 mins). Unused subs: Gibson, Hogg, Smith.

WARRENPOINT: Parr, Clarke, McVeigh, McGuigan (Mulvenna, 79 mins), McDonald, S Murray (McMurray, 69 mins), Dane, Bagnall, Hughes, Moan, M Murray (Donnelly, 79 mins).

Unused subs: Smith, Boyle.

Man of the match: Martin Murray

Match rating: 7/10

Referee: Arnold Hunter (Maguiresbridge)

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