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Warrenpoint chief Gray can't argue with late sending off drama at Showgrounds as Coleraine end recent slide


Warrenpoint manager Barry Gray tries to get the attention of referee Ross Dunlop

Warrenpoint manager Barry Gray tries to get the attention of referee Ross Dunlop

Warrenpoint manager Barry Gray tries to get the attention of referee Ross Dunlop

Coleraine ended a four-match losing run with a dramatic 92nd-minute winner against a 10-man Warrenpoint side who had TWO players red carded!

Forget the first 80 minutes of this match - during which the Bannsiders' seven-hour goal famine was ended by Ben Doherty - because all the drama came in a crazy last 14 minutes when Warrenpoint Town somehow scored an 89th-minute equaliser through Stuart Hutchinson despite losing all their discipline.

First, goalkeeper Gabriel Sava was sent off - for "grabbing me by the throat", according to Bannsiders matchwinner Stewart Nixon - and then Gavin Peers, having been prone in the six-yard box during that minute of madness, was substituted to allow reserve keeper Andy Coleman to come on.

Bizarrely, after walking round the touchline towards the dug-out, Peers then trotted back onto the field, seemingly unaware he had been subbed by manager Barry Gray.

He was immediately told to leave the pitch but referee Ross Dunlop followed him off and showed him his second yellow card, having already been booked for dissent 20 minutes earlier.

Both players will miss Tuesday night's game against Glentoran and boss Gray was an angry man at the end.

"I actually didn't see what Sava did, there was so much going on at the time - there was someone lying on the ground, somebody on top of him and handbags over there - but if he has done that, it's a deserved red card, I have no qualms about that," he said.

And on the Peers incident, Gray added: "If he did know he had been substituted he will have to take his medicine, but it is the rest of the team that will suffer.

"My teams are more disciplined than that and it was ill-discipline of two players who impacted the image of us as a team and me as a manager, so they have been told that and we will deal with it in-house."

And the boss wasn't impressed by the team's performance for the first 45 and last five minutes either.

"Our first half was under par and that dictated too much. We made a game of it in the second half but, after we got the equaliser, our game management was really poor. They picked us off and we are going home with nothing," he said.

The fact that Nixon plundered such a late winner to give Coleraine their first win since Halloween - and maintain an unblemished 10-match record against Warrenpoint at The Showgrounds - pleased Oran Kearney even more than a routine victory.

"The way it happened made it even more euphoric for the players and a bigger shot in the arm that we felt was needed to get us up and running again," said the Bannsiders boss.

"But rather than zoom in on the last frantic couple of minutes, I thought the overall performance was Coleraine again and that to me is more important than how we got over the line.

"It was a real show of strength and attitude from the players, because a draw would have been unjust and a real sickener judged over the whole 95 minutes."

Sunday Life