Belfast Telegraph

Town's Tipton can see upset on the cards

By Graham Luney

The Irish Cup was never kind to Matthew Tipton as a player but he's hoping for better luck as a manager.

The rookie boss at Championship One pacesetters Warrenpoint Town is eyeing a fifth round shock at home to Ballinamallard United today and on paper it's one of the ties where a surprise could be on the cards.

Football isn't played on paper of course but the Milltown boys will be quietly confident of giving the Mallards - whose primary goal is Premier League survival - a headache.

Former Linfield, Portadown and Ballymena United ace Tipton can take heart from his side's performances against senior opposition this season but he knows how daunting the challenge is for his side this weekend.

And he also knows how cruel the Irish Cup can be after being burned twice at the semi-final stage as a player.

"My cup memories are mostly bad," he reflects. "I lost two semi-finals - for Portadown against Crusaders and with Ballymena United against Portadown. They say it's tough to lose a final but I still would have liked to get there. I hope our boys can produce a performance which can win the game and then it could have a positive effect on our league campaign.

"We have a level-headed group of lads and they will relish the challenge. We've performed well against senior opposition this season, beating Glenavon in the Mid-Ulster Cup and Ards in the League Cup. We were unfortunate against Ballymena United in the League Cup as we went a man down against them."

Some observers predict a possible upset but former Macclesfield and Oldham striker Tipton knows his side are underdogs.

"People might look at our fixture and guess there could be an upset there but they are the Premiership side and if you look at it realistically they should progress," he added.

"They are favourites to win the game and I don't assume for one moment they will take their eye off the ball in the Cup because of their league commitments."

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