Murray at the double for Warrenpoint as Ports lose early lead

Johnny McMurray (left) and Garry Breen during Warrenpoint Town's defeat of Portadown. Pic by PressEye Ltd.
Johnny McMurray (left) and Garry Breen during Warrenpoint Town's defeat of Portadown. Pic by PressEye Ltd.

Warrenpoint Town recorded a third consecutive victory over Portadown to gain a significant boost in the battle to beat the drop - and add to the home side’s woes.

The Ports kicked off at Shamrock Park just four points above the relegation zone and Pat McGibbon’s search for a first win as interim manager now stands at three games following another promising start but frustrating finish.

Portadown had Ross Redman, Philip Lowry and Gary Twigg back in the starting line-up and the senior additions helped the hosts dominate the majority of the first half.

Chris Casement, Lowry, Redman, Mikey Withers and Twigg were involved in early positive passing moves.

One teasing Redman cross from the left caused problems for goalkeeper Jonathan Parr but John Boyle stepped in to clear the danger before Marcio Soares could connect.

Soares, however, had his moment in the spotlight on 14 minutes and the teenage striker made no mistake to break the deadlock.

Redman’s delivery was flicked on by Twigg and Chris Ramsey collected the header at the back post then fed the ball back into the heart of the penalty area for Soares to convert.

Lowry had a goal ruled out for offside during a sparkling initial period by the home side.

Parr had to prove alert to stop a shot by Twigg after good play between Withers and Lowry as Portadown restricted Warrenpoint to a single Murray shot until 44 minutes.

Then the game changed as Warrenpoint scored two goals inside the final moments of the first half.

Conor McDonald was afforded time and space to attack the Ports penalty area and his looping deflected shot from the edge of the box left the teams on level terms.

Warrenpoint gained a vital advantage with the next attack thanks to a driving run by Murray following a defensive lapse from the hosts which ended with the striker slotting a shot beyond Miskelly.

Warrenpoint took control of the second half as Portadown failed to match the drive on display before the break.

Johnny McMurray attacked from deep after the break and almost ended his run from the halfway line with a memorable goal but Garry Breen and Miskelly combined to keep the deficit at 2-1.

McDonald forced Miskelly into smart saves on two occasions as the visitors held the upper hand, with a third goal confirming victory on 81 minutes.

Liam Bagnall fed Murray and the impressive forward capped his afternoon by drilling an angled shot past Miskelly.

PORTADOWN: David Miskelly, Chris Ramsey, Ross Redman, Garry Breen, Ken Oman, Robert Garrett, Philip Lowry, Chris Casement, Gary Twigg, Marcio Soares, Mikey Withers. Subs: Martin Marron, Matthew Parker, Tim Mouncey (on for Soares, 59 mins), Nathaniel Ferris (on for Withers, 77 mins), Padraig Judge.

WARRENPOINT TOWN: Jonathan Parr, Mark Clarke, Dermott McVeigh, Conor McDonald, Stephen Murray, Jordan Dane, Liam Bagnall, Mark Hughes, Johnny McMurray, John Boyle, Martin Murray. Subs: Nathan Murphy (on for M.Hughes, 86 mins), Padraig Smith, Stephen Hughes (on for McMurray, 68 mins), Sean Donnelly, Tiernan Mulvenna.

Referee: John Deighan.