WARRENPOINT TOWN 0 COLERAINE 2
Coleraine produced another professional performance to secure a 2-0 win over Warrenpoint Town.
Second half goals from Ian Parkhill and Darren McCauley secured another win for the Bannsiders to keep them top of the pile at Christmas.
It was a frantic opening few minutes with the ball spending more time in the air.
The Bannsiders carved out the first openings with Jamie McGonigle getting two shots away inside a minute.
But on both occasions it never troubled Jonny Parr in the home goal.
Ian Parkhill was denied by a great block from Conor McMenamin on 21 minutes after some great build up play from Lyons and McGonigle had created the chance.
Marty Murray was starting to cause a few problems cutting in from the left. On 27 minutes he created space on the edge of the box, but his shot cleared Chris Johns’s goal.
A clever pass from Martin Smith a minute later sent Brad Lyons racing clear before he was upended by McMenamin on the edge of the box.
Gareth McConaghie though dragged the free kick wide of the far post.
McGonigle went close again ten minutes before the break after he robbed Senna Foster on the edge of the box.
The striker composed himself but his curling effort ended up on the wrong side of the upright.
They went close again on 37 minutes as Darren McCauley surged through, but he too failed to trouble Parr as he lashed his effort over the bar under pressure from Danny Wallace.
The visitors suffered a blow as the game approached half time as Lyons pulled up with an injury which forced him off on his 100th appearance for the club.
The deadlock was broken three minutes after the restart in fortunate fashion.
Warrenpoint failed to clear their lines on two occasions with the ball eventually falling for Parkhill on the edge of the box, and his shot deflected up over Parr and into the net.
It should have been 2-0 on 53 minutes after more good work down the left Smith had an initial shot save by Parr, but the ball dropped for Josh Carson in front of the open goal, but McMenamin somehow got back to head the ball off the line.
The Bannsiders had a let off on the hour mark after McMenamin fed Darren Murray from a quick free kick.
The striker cut inside and rattled the woodwork from the edge of the box.
Oran Kearney was urging on his side for the crucial second goal and they went close on 72 minutes.
Darren McCauley skipped past Anto Reilly, but he could only find the side netting from a tight angle.
The midfielder went close again four minutes later, this time he forced Parr into action with a shot from the edge of the box.
Warrenpoint were still posing a threat on the break though and Johns had to be off his line quickly to deny Lorcan Forde on 81 minutes.
The keeper was helpless from a long range effort by Marty Murray three minutes later, unfortunately for the hosts though it sailed past the post.
Right at the death McCauley grabbed his goal as he turned and fired low past Parr from the edge of the box to seal the win for Oran Kearney’s men.
Warrenpoint Town: Parr, Foster (Forde 56), Dane, Mackle, Murray, McMenamin, D Murray, S Murray, Wallace, McGrandles (TJ Murray 64), Reilly.
Subs: Moan, Roohi, Turker.
Coleraine: Johns, Mullan, Harkin, McCauley, Smith, McConaghie, Lyons (Carson 45+1), O’Donnell, Parkhill (Whiteside 89), Traynor, McGonigle.
Subs: Douglas, Ogilby, Doherty.
Referee: Raymond Crangle.