Rambo rampage sees 'Point dismiss dogged Dergview
Tuesday, 22 January 2013
Warrenpoint Town FC 2 Dergview FC 0.
A FIRST-HALF brace from Stephen 'Rambo' Hughes allowed Warrenpoint to see off a limited Dergview team with relative ease.
The victory means that Barry Gray's charges will head into their top-of-the-table clash with Ards on February 2, 10 points behind their opponents with two games in hand.
Before that crucial league fixture Warrenpoint will play Newbuildings United in the fourth round of the Intermediate Cup but after Saturday's facile victory, the players and management could be forgiven for now concentrating on the seminal fixture in early February.
Aside from the first five minutes of the game against Dergview, Warrenpoint were in complete control and were never seriously threatened by the Tyrone team. The centre-back partnership of Johnny Cowan and captain John Boyle comfortably marshalled the Dergview attack while full-backs Mark Hughes and Stephen Moan were two of Warrenpoint's stand-out performers.
Both full-backs were excellent in an attacking sense whilst managing to perform their defensive duties admirably. In fact, Mark Hughes had one of Warrenpoint's first meaningful efforts on goal on 18 minutes when his long-range effort fizzed just wide of Stefan McCusker's post.
By that stage Warrenpoint were probing the Dergview defence and there was a palpable feeling that the Dergview goal was soon to be breached.
So it proved on 23 minutes, when a superb strike from Stephen Hughes broke the deadlock. The build-up play was patient and precise. Mark Hughes then laid the ball off to Stephen whose first touch took him away from his marker, allowing him to unleash a superb drive from 23 yards out. The finish was superb and it was little more than Warrenpoint deserved.
The visitors were clearly rattled by the goal and Warrenpoint pounced on their vulnerability by adding a second goal barely 60 seconds after the first. Moan and Marty Havern combined smartly down the right flank before Havern whipped a fantastic ball into the area. The cross was inch perfect and Stephen Hughes had no problem nodding home the finish from close range.
With a two goal advantage Warrenpoint began to play their most enterprising football of the afternoon but they could not force an elusive third goal in the first half.
A mistake in the Dergview defence presented Stephen Hughes with the ball deep in dangerous territory. He showed enough presence of mind to square the ball for the waiting Keith Johnston but his unusually tame effort was easily gathered by the Dergview goalkeeper.
The Castlederg team's main threat came from the direct running of Ricky Lee Dougherty but the forward was too isolated to cause any meaningful damage to the 'Point defence.
In contrast, Warrenpoint looked menacing and were unlucky not to get a third just before the break. Moan played a perfectly weighted pass to Stephen Hughes who, after a short burst on the right wing, crossed dangerously into the area but the Dergview defence scrambled desperately to somehow nullify the threat.
Seconds later, when the whistle blew for half-time, the visitors were happy to hear it.
Warrenpoint had been utterly dominant and the feeling was that the second half would only bear more fruit for the Seasiders.
It didn't play out that way. Most of the play was concentrated in midfield and Warrenpoint carried less of an attacking threat.
The 'Point defence remained resolute though and the three substitutes, Gary Boyle, Marcus McKeown and Daniel Hughes all performed well when introduced.
There may have been little goal-mouth action of note in the second half but the fact was that Warrenpoint had done enough in the first half to kill the game off as a contest.
There were two seemingly legitimate penalty shouts for the 'Point in the second half, neither of which were given and McKeown's mazy run and shot could have resulted in a third for Warrenpoint.
Still, it mattered little that Warrenpoint were unable to add to their tally - they were clearly the superior side and were always assured of all three points.
When the final whistle blew, the Warrenpoint faithful were appreciative even if the players had given a somewhat muted performance. The key now for Warrenpoint is to ensure that the level of performance rises for their showdown with Ards in less than a fortnight's time.
WARREPOINT: Jonathan Parr, Mark Hughes, Stephen Moan, John Boyle, Jonathan Cowan, Shaun Parr, Ruairi Devlin, Kenny Kearns, Martin Havern, Keith Johnston, Stephen Hughes (Subs) Gary Boyle for Martin Havern (68), Marcus McKeown for Stephen Hughes (68), Daniel Hughes for Gareth Johnston (80).
DERGVIEW: Stefan McCusker, Liam McMenimin, John Carlin, Eugene Gilloway, Colin Robinson, Blaine Burns, Aaron Arkinson, Adam Lecky, Ricky Lee Dougherty, Conor Carlin, Adam Friel (Subs) Gary Henderson for Colin Robinson (half-time), Cathal McShane for Conor Carlin (64), Tom Carlin for Ricky Lee Dougherty (72).
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