Warrenpoint Town kicked off life in the NIFL Championship at home to last season’s promotion playoff runners up Institute. A game many were speculating would be hard fought on the pitch proved true with also some angry exchanges between the dug outs with both mangers being sent off.
Following an edgy first 15 minutes it was Warrenpoint that had all the chances. Tiarnan Mulvenna had a few but was well closed out by the visiting team along with new striker Conor McMenamin having two good chances. On the half hour Institute started the threaten the Milltown outfit and just a few minutes later with McCarron taking the break on the counter.
Point regrouped and dug in hard and got the reward just before half time as Conor McMenamin took an excellent chance to the delight of the Milltown faithful. That goal certainly changed manager Barry Grays half time team talk but no doubt the title favourites got a rude awakening in the first 45 minutes of Championship football.
Following the break, it was one-way traffic as Warrenpoint continued to press the visitors. It was not going to come easy for Warrenpoint though and it was the introduction of last season’s hitman, Stephen Murray that proved pivotal on the counter attack putting Tiarnan Mulvenna through to make it 2-1.
In the closing minutes of the game Institute had Ryan Morrow sent off for a second bookable offence.
Following the game manager Barry Gray said that it was a “job done with three points in the bag.
“The second half performance was very pleasing as the first half was a bit edgy but over the ninty minutes we opened up the gaps we wanted.
“It’s going to take time when you bring in 9 or 10 players but we were impressed with James Haughey and Aaron Traynor, the new full backs and the strikers and midfielders that came in did reasonably well.
Looking forward to an away visit to Armagh next Saturday Gray said that he expects more over the coming weeks form the new squad members.
Warrenpoint Town: J. Parr, D McVeigh, A Traynor, J Haughey, L McKenna, J McGuigan, S Moan, C McMenamin, T Mullvena
Institute: M Gallagher, R Morrow, D Curry, S O’Donnell, D McDermott, C Harkin, M McCrudden, S McCarron, N Grace, S Curry
Ref: K Kennedy
© Warrenpoint Town Football Club 2017