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Glentoran miss chance to jump into top six with Warrenpoint Town draw

Glentoran 0 Warrenpoint Town 0

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Warrenpoint's game against Glentoran could be switched to The Oval

Warrenpoint's game against Glentoran could be switched to The Oval

Warrenpoint's game against Glentoran could be switched to The Oval

Barry Gray promised that his team would travel to The Oval without fear - and the Warrenpoint Town boss was as good as his word.

Town matched big-spending Glentoran - who missed the chance to leapfrog their rivals into the top six - in this Danske Bank Premiership game.

Mick McDermott's men appeared to be on a roll following their 6-0 thrashing of Carrick Rangers on Saturday, but they came up against a team prepared to battle for every ball.

If there were cheers at the weekend, it was jeers as the team made their way off last night.

Again, only a limited amount of fans - 500 in total - were permitted due to Covid restrictions.

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Warrenpoint’s Barry Gray

Warrenpoint’s Barry Gray

Warrenpoint’s Barry Gray

McDermott made only one change to his starting XI, drafting in Gael Bigirimana in place of Hrvoje Plum, who was only back from a serious cruciate ligament injury on Saturday.

With both Town goalkeeper Gabriel Sava and defender Gavin Peers missing - they were both dismissed at Coleraine on Saturday - Andy Coleman and Luke Gallagher deputised.

The Glens were given a fright after only six minutes. Colm Deasy's monster throw-in from the right was totally misjudged by goalkeeper Dayle Coleing, but Town failed to take advantage.

McDermott's side had a sniff seven minutes later when Jay Donnelly's defence-splitting pass found Robbie McDaid, only for team-mate Bigirimana to nick the ball off his toe.

Town threatened again when Kealan Dillon threaded an inch-perfect pass to Alan O'Sullivan, but this time Coleing was out quickly to save.

Breaking quickly in numbers and neat and tidy on the ball, the visitors were prepared to shoot on sight with Ryan Swan capitalising on a slip by skipper Marcus Kane before sending in an audacious 25-yard stinger that Coleing did well to smother.

Then, five minutes before the interval, Luke Gallagher had a go from distance that the big shot-stopper managed to gather.

McDermott's half-time team talk seemed to have the desired effect with Donnelly rampaging through the middle practically straight from the kick-off only to be penalised for handball.

The home team were almost in front on 50 minutes. Dale Gorman's wonder pass picked out the lively Paul O'Neill, whose low drive was dealt with by Coleman.

But Town came bouncing back with Francis McCaffery sending Swan darting through the middle which had Coleing rushing to make a hasty clearance.

The Glens should have been in front with 18 minutes remaining. Gorman's short corner found sub Jamie McDonagh, whose cross was met by the towering Paddy McClean, but the big defender shamefully headed wide.

McDermott took off the ineffective Bigirimana and sent on Plum and it almost paid off.

The Croatian sent in a rasping 30-yard drive that had Coleman at full stretch, the goalkeeper getting a strong hand to it.

But Town almost snatched it at the end when Swan's free-kick went inches past the post.

GLENTORAN: Coleing, Marron, McCullough, McClean, Kane, Gorman, Bigirimana (Plum 75), C Gallagher, O'Neill (McDonagh 69), McDaid, J Donnelly. Subs not used: Brown, R Donnelly, Mitchell, Smith, Crowe.

WARRENPOINT TOWN: Coleman, Deasy, Ball, L Gallagher, Wallace, Hutchinson (O'Connor 78), McCaffrey, McVeigh, Dillon, O'Sullivan (Carroll 62), Swan. Subs not used: McMullan, Mullan, Knox, Carson, Forsythe.

Referee: Evan Boyce (Ballygowan).

Man of the match: Colm Deasy.

Match rating: 5/10.

Belfast Telegraph


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