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Another late show by Warrenpoint Town earns share of derby spoils

Newry City 1 Warrenpoint 1

By Gareth McCullough

Another late goal saw Warrenpoint Town take a draw from the Mourne Ultimatum at The Showgrounds after Philip Donnelly struck in stoppage time.

James Walker had put the home side ahead from the penalty spot but they were unable to hang on.

In front of a bumper crowd at The Showgrounds, it was Stephen McDonnell's visitors who made the brighter start, although it took them until just before the quarter hour to have their first chance on the City goal.

After Walker had fired wide for Newry early on, Robbie Norton should have hit the target on 13 minutes when a weak clearance by Paddy Mooney fell straight to the youngster 18 yards out. However the midfielder, on loan from Glenavon, snatched at the chance and screwed his volley high and wide of Andy Coleman's goal.

The Point had an even better chance to break the deadlock midway through the half when Fra McCaffrey held off Walker to go through one-on-one with Coleman, but he opted to shoot early when he had much more time and his side-foot effort was straight at the Newry keeper.

The hosts began to inch their way into the game and, after Declan Carville's speculative 35-yarder was comfortably held by Town keeper Aaron McCarey, City almost took the lead.

A super run in from the left by Stephen Hughes saw him hold off two challenges before letting fly from 20 yards. His shot took a huge deflection that had McCarey scrambling to his right only for the ball to bounce just wide and out for a corner.

Newry went in front three minutes into the second half from the penalty spot. Mark McCabe was bundled over by Danny Wallace and Walker stepped up to send McCarey the wrong way.

They almost doubled that advantage on the hour mark when a diagonal ball found Mark Hughes in space on the left hand side of the box, but his volley clipped the outside of the post.

Each side had two huge chances within 60 seconds of each other. Firstly, Newry's Kevin McArdle played a clever one-two down the right before cutting into the box only to drag his left-foot shot wide with just McCarey to beat, then Warrenpoint sub Ciaran O'Connor managed to get something on a looping ball into the Newry area that saw Coleman produce an excellent reaction save to keep it out.

The game was beginning to open up as it headed towards the final 15 minutes and only a superb diving block from McCaffrey deflected Stephen Hughes' 15-yard drive from making it 2-0.

In the final minute of normal time, Warrenpoint thought they had levelled when Maxim Kouogun headed goalwards, but the ball dropped just wide.

However, they did get back on terms soon later when Donnelly forced the ball past Coleman to secure a battling point.

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