Hughes at double as Swifts beat Point.

Tuesday, 24 April 2018

DANIEL Hughes took centre stage as his Dungannon Swifts side defeated Warrenpoint town at Stangmore Park on Saturday afternoon.


In glorious sunshine and with the score at two apiece, the Newry man and former Town top marksman, netted two fine goals to earn his side three points on the penultimate Saturday in the Danske Bank Irish League Premiership.

Yet this was a match the Seasiders looked likely to win as with 55 minutes gone they were 2-0 in front.

But the home side, who suffered defeat at Milltown just a few weeks ago, were determined it wasn't going to happen again and in truth their 4-2 victory didn't flatter them.

It wasn't a great Point performance and manager Stephen McDonnell agreed with this as he spoke the Democrat after the match, saying: "It was disappointing and it wasn't our best performance overall.

We were probably lucky enough to be two up. But it was massively disappointing after being two up to concede four very, very soft goals." On positives the manager said: "There wasn't many and if I'm being brutally honest it was one of our poorest performances. I don't know what was the reason. But maybe some credit has to go to Dungannon and how they pressed us. We didn't keep possession too well and there was an element of luck for us to be two up.

Although they were two good finishes, we didn't do a huge pile to create them." The Swifts were the better team in the opening half and indeed the visitors had only one chance of note in the first 45 minutes. That came when Lorcan Forde headed narrowly wide on 11 minutes.

On the other hand ex-Point man Daniel Hughes galloped clear on 13 minutes but the Warrenpoint keeper Berratt Turker raced from his line to block.

Hughes also went close on 34 minutes with an 18-yard free kick that drifted narrowly wide. While four minutes later Cormac Burke clipped the Town woodwork from 20 yards.

It was a dull opening half but there was a lot more excitement after the break. Indeed on 51 minutes the Town surged in front. Conall McGrandles played a ball through with centre forward Alan O'Sullivan getting a lucky break when the pass deflected to him. But there was nothing lucky about the finish, O'Sullivan blasting a rocket high into the back of the Dungannon net from the edge of the box.

Four minutes later Warrenpoint doubled their tally.

O'Sullivan again played a big part in the goal. He latched onto a long ball and swerved past the advancing Stuart Addis.

However, the Swifts' David Armstrong got back to knock the ball from the toe of O'Sullivan. But the central defender's interception was in vain as the marauding and alert Lorcan Forde picked up the loose ball before gleefully slamming into the back of the empty Dungannon net.

At that stage it seemed it was going to be Warrenpoint's day.

Not so though.

And the Swifts, playing good football, got themselves back into the game on 69 minutes, then Chris Lowe, with virtually his first kick, side-footed into the Warrenpoint net. The cheering had scarcely died down when Rhyss Campbell, who had come on at the break, powered through and beat Berratt Turker with a low drive.

Then on 73 minutes Daniel Hughes finished off a move involving Campbell and Lowe to snatch his first goal against his former club. And the skilful Hughes did an encore on 89 minutes when he went clear on the right before confidently lobbing the advancing Tucker with the game's best goal. Indeed seconds later Hughes had an opportunity to grab a hat-trick but he shot straight at Turker.

That loss to Dungannon lowers the average winning ratio for manager Stephen McDonnell, to below 50 per cent in his seven games in charge.

On that crunch match against Carrick and when asked would Warrenpoint be extra keen on beating them as after all they were the team that relegated the Town two seasons ago on the last day of the season, McDonnell said: "Well I wasn't there then but no doubt we want to beat them.

"But we want to beat every team and not just because they put us down. I want to win games of football and get the lads used to winning games of football. And not because of what happened before.

"I wanted to win today, especially as we were two up - but certainly we want to beat Carrick. We want to beat everybody."

Dungannon Swifts: Stuart Addis, Chris Hegarty, David Armstrong, Terry Fitzpatrick (Mark Patton: 89), Paul McElroy, Ally Teggart, Jarleth O'Rourke (Rhyss Campbell: ht) Cormac Burke, Daniel Hughes, Grant Hutchinson (Kris Lowe: 61), and Caolan Coyle. Ryan Harpur and Andy Coleman; both not used.

Warrenpoint Town: Berratt Turker, Anto Reilly, Stevie Moan, Danny Wallace, Seanna Foster, Emmett Hughes (Andy Fox: 78), Conall McGrandles, Deane Watters, (Jordan Dane: 59), Lorcan Forde, Josh Lynch (Liam McKenna: 65) and Alan O'Sullivan. Subs Jonny Parr and Darius Roohi both not used.


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