Belfast Telegraph

Boyle Points way to success against Cliftonville

By Graham Luney

John Boyle has the toughest job in the Danske Bank Premiership this weekend – keeping Liam Boyce and Joe Gormley quiet.

It's an assignment so daunting it would give any man a sleepless Friday night but this is why the Warrenpoint Town skipper and his team-mates are dining at local football's top table.

The centre-back is relishing the chance to go toe to toe with the best in the league and the Premiership new boys aren't in the mood to roll over and have their tummy tickled by the champions.

Boyle was in the Town side that pulled off one of the legendary Irish Cup shocks when the minnows humbled Cliftonville 3-1 on penalties in January 2011.

It was an astonishing result for Barry Gray's men but it wasn't the end of the fairytale for the south-Down men as they were on the road to the big time.

It's fair to say that both Town and the Reds have scaled mountains since that meeting and Boyle hopes he'll be laughing come tomorrow evening again. However, this is a different Reds machine – an outfit that is playing with the swagger of a side that knows it's the best in the country.

Gormley helped himself to two goals in the 4-2 win over Linfield last weekend with Diarmuid O'Carroll also chipping in with a brace.

Gray's men will need to bring their 'A-game' to Stangmore Park tomorrow but they should have a spring in their step after recording their first win in senior football when they beat Ards 2-1.

"I watched Cliftonville last season and they were awesome," said Boyle. "They were the best side in the league and they can score goals from anywhere.

"The guys up front are two of the best strikers in the league but it's great for us to test ourselves against these players and see how we stand up to them.

"We don't go into any game with an inferior attitude because if we did we would lose the game.

"You have to go into every game believing you can get something out if it. We will be determined to give a good account of ourselves against Cliftonville and see where it leaves us.

Town lost their opening Premiership clash 3-2 to Dungannon Swifts but Boyle thought his side performed better in that contest than in their victory over Ards.

"It was great to get the monkey off the back," added Boyle. "Especially after no-one gives us a prayer or a hope of doing much in this league.

"However, it's great to get three points on the board going into the Cliftonville game."

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