Belfast Telegraph

Gray targeting January sales as Point close gap at bottom

Glenavon 1-1 Warrenpoint Town

By Ian Callender

After conceding 64 goals in their first 21 Premiership games this season, Warrenpoint have shut up shop and let in just one in the last 180 minutes.

Barry Gray's side are still bottom but after a earning a point from a superb rearguard display against Glenavon, it is only on goal difference, behind Institute.

And with hopes of doing business in the transfer window next month, Gray is looking up.

"The target when I joined was to get off the bottom and this is another small step in that direction," said Gray.

"We have had a reset since I came in, it's taken a while and still not perfect but we're certainly more solid than earlier in the season.

"It will be a balancing act in the January window which will give depth in other areas to take pressure off the back line. We can't expect to put shifts in like that every week and come away with a point."

Glenavon boss Gary Hamilton claimed his side's poor finishing - as much as Point goalkeeper Mark Byrne's heroics - cost them victory but the draw was enough to promote them to seventh place and within five points of the top half.

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"Their keeper made some good saves but there were a lot you would expect him to make," said Hamilton.

"We created a lot of chances in the second half and should have taken more of them.

"But that's been the story of our season, playing well and lacking composure in front of goal."

It was left back James Singleton who headed the Lurgan Blues' only goal of the day, in the 52nd minute, but Hamilton was harsh on Conor McCloskey, Seamus Sharkey and David Larmour if he thought they could have done much more, all foiled by superb saves from 18-year-old Byrne.

Only Dungannon fans have seen more goals in their league games this season, however, and Brandon Doyle's 11th minute opener - only Warrenpoint's fourth in 11 away games - was the 50th goal Glenavon have conceded.

GLENAVON: Tuffey, Marron, Larmour, Sharkey, Singleton, Beggs, Clingan, Marshall, Daniels (Jenkins, 85 mins), Mitchell (Murray, 74 mins), McCloskey. Unused subs: Burns, Doyle, Harmon, Taylor, Garrett.

Warrenpoint: Byrne, Young, Smith, Mullen, Wallace, Doyle, Watters, McVeigh, Bennett, O'Sullivan (McCann, 80 mins), Scannell (Forde, 73 mins). Unused subs: Turker, Cowan, O'Kane, Murnaghan.

Referee: Ian McNabb (Newtownabbey)

Man of match: Mark Byrne

Match rating: 7/10

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