Sports

Super Seasiders unlucky to come away with defeat at Showgrounds

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Super Seasiders unlucky to come away with defeat at Showgrounds thumbnail WARRENPOINT'S Lorcan Forde dances past Coleraine duo Scot Whiteside and Josh Carson at the Coleraine Showgrounds on Friday evening.

WARRENPOINT Town produced their best performance of the season against Premiership leaders Coleraine at their Ballycastle Road Showgrounds on Friday evening.


Coleraine ...2
Warrenpoint Town ...1

The Seasiders played with guts, passion and skill - but a debatable sending-off, five minutes after the break, cost them dearly.

In the opening half Lisburn referee Keith Kennedy booked the Town striker Darren Murray for protesting after the official had turned down no fewer than three penalty kick claims.

And it appeared as though Kennedy was on a mission to red-card the in-form Murray and did so when the Town man dived in on Brad Lyons.

Murray won the ball but still the official wasted no time flashing a yellow and then a red card.

Manager Matthew Tipton was aggrieved at the decision, telling the Democrat immediately after the game: "I don't blame Darren for getting sent off and I'll back him to the hilt. I couldn't see what he did wrong. As soon as he made the tackle the referee brandished the yellow card and then the red.

"I think the referee made it personal because Darren had a pop at him (for not giving him penalties). He also gave a yellow card to Liam McKenna - for the best tackle of the night." Yet despite being reduced to ten men, Warrenpoint refused to buckle and pushed forward at Coleraine, who just six days previously had beaten the mighty Crusaders on their own Seaview patch.

The Bannsiders were only the second team to win away to the Crues in their previous 45 matches.

And indeed the Town were so unlucky on 64 minutes. Lorcan Forde, the 17-year-old playing some brilliant stuff on the right flank, crossed with Conor McMenamin controlling the ball in a flash.

The midfielder then produced a wee bit of magic to turn inside a defender before blasting at the target from ten yards. However, the home keeper Chris Johns showed stunning reflexes to somehow turn the ball over the bar.

And five minutes later Coleraine grabbed what proved to be the winner when after Ian Parkhill crossed from the right, Darren McCauley, the Bannsiders' best player, drilled low past the helpless Jonny Parr.

Warrenpoint began well and might have gone in front on 15 minutes. Neil McCafferty curled in an in-swinging free from the left with Jordan Lyttle thundering in a goal-bound header. But Johns made a terrific save to keep out the central defender's effort.

And within sixty seconds the Bannsiders had scored at the other end. Eoin Bradley centred from the right with Jamie McGonigle slipping his cross past the advancing Parr.

The small number of Warrenpoint fans who made the long time to Coleraine must have feared a repeat of the recent five-goal mauling by Crusaders.

But that most certainly wasn't going to be the case. Darren Murray was causing the home side all sorts of problems. On 21 minutes the big striker was just wide with a header following a Liam McKenna cross and then in the space of ten minutes Murray had three legitimate penalty appeals turned down. Also after an inch-perfect Forde right wing cross, Murray drew another fine save from Johns.

Still right on the interval whistle the brilliant Murray brought his Premier league tally this season to four goals from four matches. Seanna Foster lobbed into the box with Murray winning a header.

McMenamin touched it on with Murray picking up the return and first-timing a wicked volley into the bottom corner.

Things were looking good for the Town but on 50 minutes fate, or referee Kennedy, dealt Warrenpoint a cruel blow when Murray received his marching orders.

Yet even the dismissal of their best player didn't deter the battling Seasiders. They dug deep with skipper Stephen Moan, central defender Jordan Lyttle and right back Seanna Foster working like Trojans to frustrate the Bannsiders. Left back Dale McCreery was inspirational while keeper Jonny Parr made several super stops.

However, Darren McCauley denied the Point when he fired home the winner to push Oran Kearney 's Coleraine side to the summit of the Irish Premiership.

On the other hand although there were no league points for the Town, they earned lots of plaudits for a magnificent gutsy display.

Coleraine: Chris Johns, Adam Mullan, Steven Douglas, Stephen O'Donnell, Josh Carson, Ian Parkhill, Brad Lyons, Darren McCauley; Eoin Bradley, Jamie McGonigle (Joe McCready, 79) Scott Whiteside (Aaron Traynor, 78).

Warrenpoint Town: Jonny Parr, Seanna Foster, Dale McCreery, Stephen Moan, Jordan Lyttle, Sean Mackle (TJ Murray, 62), Lorcan Forde (Marty Murray, 83), Liam McKenna, Neil Mc- Cafferty, Darren Murray and Conor McMenamin (Darius Roohi, 62). Alan Blayney and Josh Lynch were unused substitues.

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