IRISH LEAGUE: Warrenpoint take vital win against Portadown
WARRENPOINT TOWN 2 PORTADOWN 0
Warrenpopint made it two wins from two with a comfortable victory at home to struggling Portadown.
A goal in each half from Conor McDonald and top scorer Stephen Murray was enough to see the hosts ease to the three points and put them in a strong position to stay in the Premiership.
In a scrappy opening period, it was the home side who made the most of the running but it took until the midway stage of the half for the first real opportunity of the match and it led to the opening goal for the hosts.
A throw-in from the right wasn’t properly dealt with by the Ports defence and Matty Parker delayed on the ball on the edge of his own box. The lively Conor McDonald nipped in to dispossess the winger before bursting past Ross Redman and sliding the ball across David Miskelly and into the bottom left hand corner.
Barry Gray’s men could have doubled the lead on 28 minutes when the ball ran through to Nathan Murphy on the left hand side of the area but his close range shot was superbly blocked by Ports defender Chris Casement when Murphy looked certain to score.
Pat McGibbon and his team were dealt a blow five minutes later when centre-back Garry Breen went off with what looked like a serious ankle injury and he was replaced by Cliftonville-bound Chris Ramsey.
As the half drew to a close, the Ports nearly got back on terms two minutes before the interval when a long ball by Casement was flicked on by Gary Twigg into the path of Parker in the box. However, Dermot McVeigh got back to get a toe in and the ball came back off Parker before going out for a goal kick.
Despite Portadown beginning the second half on the front foot, it was their opponents who had the first opportunity after the break when Johnny McMurray fired in a shot from 20 yards that Miskelly, despite diving the wrong way, did well to save with his legs.
The home side should have doubled their lead on 66 minutes when goalscorer McDonald volleyed the ball across goal from the right but Mark Clarke was unable to get a touch to direct it over the line from point blank range.
However, they did extend their lead a minute later when McMurray headed the ball on to Stephen Murray and the in-form striker outpaced Ramsey before slotting past Miskelly from the left to make it 2-0.
Warrenpoint: Parr, M Hughes, McVeigh, Murphy (Dane 59), Moan, Bagnall, Clarke, McDonald, McMurray (Mulvenna 80), M Murray (S Hughes 65), S Murray
Subs not used: Smith, Donnelly
Portadown: Miskelly, Casement, Redman, Oman, Breen (Ramsey 33), Gault, Mouncey, Garrett (Ferris 59), Twigg, Mackle (Richardson 78), Parker
Subs not used: Withers, Marron
Referee: Raymond Crangle (Belfast)