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Point have their swagger back, insists McDonnell

Ards 0 Warrenpoint Town 1

Seanna Foster
Seanna Foster

By Keith Bailie

Stephen McDonnell believes Warrenpoint Town have their swagger back as their historic Irish Cup semi-final looms large.

Seanna Foster struck to earn a morale-boosting 1-0 win over Ards as McDonnell's men all but secured Danske Bank Premiership safety a fortnight ahead of their big cup date with Ballinamallard United.

"We need to make sure we have some confidence going into the semi-final," said McDonnell.

"We have lost too many league games in recent weeks, so I hope the Ards win will give us a lift.

"I actually think the win over Larne Tech Old Boys in the Irish Cup gave us a big lift. We have our swagger back now. We're passing the ball with confidence and attacking with more purpose, something which was missing for a few weeks.

"But before the semi-final we have two league games, starting with Crusaders on Tuesday night."

Reflecting on Saturday's game, McDonnell believes Town were worth their narrow win.

"We should have had the game wrapped up at half-time," he insisted. "We scored, missed a penalty, missed other chances and dominated possession. We made it difficult for ourselves, but I don't think (goalkeeper) Jared Thompson was ever really worried. It was a good win for us because Warren Feeney has revived Ards. I think they will make life difficult for everyone they play."

Ards chief Feeney said: "I can't knock the lads' effort, but the decision making all day was poor. We rushed things and struggled to create chances. There was no quality."

It was Feeney's first defeat in charge of Ards, who remain just one point ahead of Newry City with six games left to play.

The one bright spark for Ards was goalkeeper Sam Johnston, who saved his seventh penalty of the season, denying Simon Kelly.

Ards: Johnston, Kerr, Taylor, McNulty (Byers, 90 mins), McClean, J Kelly (Bennett, 65 mins), Cherry, Tommons, D McAllister (Henderson, 67 mins), M Kelly, McLellan. Unused subs: Davidson, McAleenan, Smith, McCawl.

Warrenpoint: Thomspon, Foster, Reilly, Wallace, M Lynch, Kelly, Marques, Duffy (Hughes, 84 mins), Young (Moan, 70 mins), O'Connor (J Lynch, 80 mins), Donnelly. Unused subs: Turker, McGrandles, Scannell, Copes.

Referee: Jamie Robinson (Portadown)

Man of the match: Seanna Foster

Match rating: 6/10

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