Fabulous Forde secures Pointís Premiership place.

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Fabulous Forde secures Pointís Premiership place. thumbnail GOALSCORER Lorcan Forde races towards the Glentoran posts at Milltown on Saturday Picture: Brendan Monaghan

A BRILLIANT injury time Lorcan Forde goal gave Warrenpoint Town victory over a strong Glentoran side at the Q Radio Sports Arena, Milltown on Saturday.


The Mayobridge teenager, described by interim Town manager Stephen McDonnell as a wee magician, definitely mesmerised the Glen's defence on 91 minutes when he latched onto a long, tentative Conall McGrandles ball out of defence.

Forde was crowded out on the left flank and lost the ball but his tenacity ensured he regained it. Then began the Forde magic as he left two defenders trailing in his wake and then somehow jinxed his way past Ross Redmond and keeper Elliott Morris before gleefully slamming the ball into the back of the Glen's net.

A memorable goal. A stunning goal. And a goal that made sure of Warrenpoint's place in the top echelon of Irish League football next season.

Though with Carrick losing and Ballinamallard drawing, in the end the result wasn't critical. Still the win meant the Town had got out of the relegation mire on their own steam.

Boss Stephen McDonnell was obviously pleased at seeing his team grab three points from the Glens, especially as the Point had lost 5-0 to Glentoran in Matthew Tipton's last game in charge of the club.

Speaking to the press after the match McDonnell said: "I'm delighted; but we should have had the game out of sight in the first half. We shouldn't have had to wait so late in the day and we looked a bit tired towards the end. But there was that bit of magic from the wee man and he gave us three points.

"I know the other games went our way but it's great that we did it for ourselves. The players have done it and it's for them and not for me. They're the ones who battled away all year."

When it was put to the manager that his team had at least five scoring opportunities in the first half, McDonnell answered: "We do that every game. But I said to the lads we need to be more ruthless in front of the goals. We should have been coming in at halftime with the game over.

But we didn't. And if you don't, teams get a wee bit of confidence. That's how we were caught last week against Ballinamallard and the week before that against Ards. If you don't take your chances, you will get punished. And then it's hard to gather momentum. But we'll take a one-nil today."

On his solid defence Stephen replied: "Yes the defence was solid but the front men pressed the ball and the midfield were in line with that. To be honest everybody worked their socks off and it was impressive how they did it."

When it was put to him that Glentoran had their chances, the manager answered: "That happens in every game of football whether it be Chelsea v Arsenal live on Sky or Warrenpoint v Glentoran. There are always chances.

Then it a matter of who is going to take those chances. Still I think we outweighed them in chances but at nil-nil it was anybody's game."

Warrenpoint played brilliantly in the opening half yet it was Glentoran who created the first scoring chance, in the opening minute Robbie McDaid forcing Berratt Turker into a full length save.

However, on ten minutes Conall McGrandles, who incidentally was magnificent in the Point midfield and showed his vast array of skills, had the first Town shot on target - but it was straight down the throat of keeper Elliott Morris.

Five minutes later the Town had a super chance of opening the scoring but following an Alan O'Sullivan pass, Dean Watters skewed his shot high and wide.

Warrenpoint continued to press. On 25 minutes Danny Wallace ran through from midfield but he dragged his left-footed shot wide of the upright. Then Josh Lynch, set up by Lorcan Forde, drilled too high.

Meanwhile in a rare break Curtis Allen headed a Ross Redmond right wing corner off the Town woodwork.

Still Warrenpoint really should have gone in at the break ahead as on 43 minutes Forde and O'Sullivan both were one-on-one with Morris - but the net-minder kept Glentoran in the game with two fine saves.

On the resumption Warrenpoint continued where they left off in the first half with the energetic Forde cutting in from the left and running the Glens' defence ragged. But as he was about to shoot, Nathan Kerr got a foot to the ball to deny the Town youngster.

Then on 50 minutes Lynch was too high after good work from O'Sullivan.

After those chances though Glentoran came into the game and here the excellent skipper Stephen Moan and the likes of Anto Reilly and Danny Wallace earned their corn.

And in truth the Glens really should have grabbed the opening goal on 71 minutes when, following a Peter McMahon cross from the right, Stephen Gordan headed wide with the goals gaping.

McDaid also went close after going round the Town keeper Turker, but Wallace was in the right place to sweep up McDaid's weak shot. However, with just three minutes left Turker did well to save from top Glens' scorer Curtis Allen.

Then just when the game seemed destined to finish at nil-nil, came that super Forde 91-minute winner.

When Stephen McDonnell was asked would he have been happy with a nil-nil against Glentoran he replied: "We set out to win every game and we never accept nil-nils. But as the game was creeping into the last five minutes and they were getting more into our half, I probably would have settled for it. But we want three points from every game."

On his success at the club Stephen was clear: "It's a collective job we have done. It's the staff and the players who deserve the praise. I'm not taking any credit." Two games are left for Warrenpoint - away to Dungannon next week and then Carrick at home in the last match. When Stephen McDonnell was asked that with the Town safe, and nothing left to play for, how would he go about the last two games and what are his plans for next season, he answered: "I haven't got the job for next season so I can't comment on that.

But for the next two games we will approach them like the first six games - relax and play our football. We know what we want to do and that's the most important thing. We'll play the next two games the way we played the previous six.

"The job isn't mine yet. I have no contract and until that happens things will be up in the air. I would love to get the job. And would love to set targets I have designed."

On a new contract Stephen said: "I hope today things will move on a wee bit quicker now that the job is officially done. We have been speaking but until things are official and pen is put to paper there's nothing concrete."

Warrenpoint Town: Berratt Turker, Anto Reilly, Stevie Moan, Danny Wallace, Seanna Foster (Jordan Dane: 87), Emmett Hughes, Conall McGrandles, Dean Watters, Lorcan Forde, Josh Lynch (Darius Roohi: 67), Alan O'Sullivan (Sean Mackle: 76).

Subs Jonny Parr, and Liam McKenna not used.

Glentoran: Elliott Morris, Nathan Kerr, Ross Redmond, Stephen Gordan, Marcus Kane, Johnny Addis, Dylan Davidson, Peter McMahon, Curtis Allen, Willie Garrett and Robbie McDaid

Subs James Ferrin, John McGuigan and Dan Kelly.


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