Belfast Telegraph

Bangor hope to overcome play-off hoodoo against Warrenpoint Town

By Keith Bailie

Bangor will be aiming to slay the ghosts of play-offs past this week, as they come face-to-face with Warrenpoint Town for a place in the Danske Bank Premiership.

Bangor booked their spot in the promotion/relegation play-offs by defeating Lisburn Distillery 3-0 at New Grosvenor on Saturday. That result set up a two-legged play-off with the Premiership’s 11th placed team Warrenpoint. The first leg will be played at the Bangor Fuels Arena on Tuesday night (tomorrow), with the return leg at Milltown on Friday. Both games will kick off at 7.45pm.

Bangor boss Jeff Montgomery said: “Over 26 league games, we’ve only lost twice, so we will go into the play-off full of confidence. That’s not to say we will be underestimating Warrenpoint Town, they are a team we know well. They’re a good side and, since Christmas, they’ve been in good form.”

Long-suffering Bangor fans are no strangers to the concept of the play-offs. Since they were introduced to the Irish League in 1997, the Seasiders have qualified for the shoot-out on five occasions, losing in each of their four previous attempts.

In 1997, Ards beat Bangor 1-0 in both legs, with Paul Cullen and the recently-retired William Murphy grabbing the goals. In 1998, Bangor were hammered 5-0 by Omagh Town at Clandeboye Park, with Michael McHugh scoring a hat-trick. Omagh won the second leg 1-0 at St Julian’s Road.

In 2003, Newry Town beat Bangor 2-1 at The Showgrounds, after a 0-0 draw in Bangor. In 2007, Glenavon beat Bangor in a penalty shoot-out at Mourneview Park, after both legs finished 1-0 to the visitors.

Warrenpoint Town are no strangers to play-offs either. In 2013, they gained promotion to the Premiership by beating Donegal Celtic on away goals.

Town boss Barry Gray said: “Having watched Bangor defeat the likes of Crusaders this season, we know how tough an opponent they will be, but I have great confidence in my players. We have and will prepare well for the game. Remember, it wasn’t so long ago we were a Championship side, so we know all about the Championship.”

Bangor will be without talisman Jordan Forsythe for both matches due to a two-match suspension, while Town striker Timmy Grant will miss the first leg for the same reason.

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