Two goals in the space of three minutes helped Warrenpoint Town defeat Ballymena United 2-1 at Milltown on Saturday afternoon in the Danske Bank Premiership.
The visitors tried to find an opening four minutes after the kick-off. Steven McCullough’s left-footed free-kick from the right-wing fell for Kofi Balmer but there were no gaps at the back post. David Jeffrey’s side had another opportunity soon after when Andrew McGrory’s low shot went wide of the bottom left corner.
Shane McGinty also threatened for the Braidmen in the 18th minute of the match. Tony Kane’s corner from the right was partially cleared before McGinty produced a strike which was blocked.
Warrenpoint went ahead through central midfielder Emmett Bennett on 23 minutes. Anton Reilly’s initial free-kick, from just inside the Ballymena half, was punched away by Ross Glendinning before Bennett nodded the ball over the United goalkeeper. Winger Brandon Doyle added the second goal when he broke away on the left and finished at the near post.
Lorcan Forde, who was playing on the opposite wing, came close to adding a third. Forde managed to squirm through the away defence but his low shot was saved. He then had a great opportunity seconds later although he couldn’t find space for a shot at the right post.
Ballymena reduced their opponents’ advantage seven minutes before half-time. A header from Kenny Kane was saved by Mark Byrne after McCullough’s corner from the right. Tony Kane capitalised on the loose ball and forced it into the net.
The second half was less eventful when compared with the opening 45 minutes. United kept searching for an equalising goal, whilst the home side defended their lead and looked for opportunities to break forward.
Visiting centre-back Jonny Addis went close on 81 minutes with a tricky, low strike from distance but Byrne made the save. Warrenpoint did breakaway in the second minute of added time when Alan O’Sullivan played the ball across to Doyle who clipped the crossbar.
Warrenpoint Town: Byrne, Wallace, Mullen, Reilly, Cowan, Bennett, Watters, Murnaghan, Doyle, O’Sullivan, Forde (O’Connor, 73)
Subs not used: Turker, Smith, Lynch, McCann, O’Kane
Ballymena United: Ross Glendinning, Addis, Ervin, Balmer, McCullough, McGinty, Knowles (Lavery, 77), T. Kane, McGrory, Lecky, K. Kane (Mayse, 67)
Subs not used: Williamson, Harpur, Andrew Burns, Reece Glendinning, Brown
Referee: Jamie Robinson
In-Touch Man of the Match: Anton Reilly (Warrenpoint)