It was hard for Dungannon Swifts manager Darren Murphy to be unhappy after his side came back from a goal down against Warrenpoint.
In newspaper interviews before the Stangmore team headed to Milltown, the former Linfield ace made no bones about how crucial a fixture it was for both teams.
“This is our biggest game of the season so far; even our Irish Cup quarter-final next week isn’t bigger than this,” commented the presumably concerned Swifts manager.
Well, he will have been very worried at one stage - but not at the finish, because the 1-1 draw means that the landscape at the bottom of the table remainsas it was before kick-off, given this and the rest of Saturday’s results.
With Ballinamallard and Institute also drawing, it’s a case of as you were and Murphy admitted it was a case of must not lose rather than must win for his side at the weekend.
After John McGuigan had put Warrenpoint ahead three minutes before the break, Dungannon rallied in the second half and equalised courtesy of Andrew Mitchell.
The visitors could have gone on and won it but a draw was just about a fair result in the end.
“I think when you come into this part of the season and, along with the teams in and around you, it’s about points and winning games, our main objective coming to Warrenpoint was not to lose the game, first and foremost” adnitted the Dungannon boss.
“The pitch was bumpy and hard but the players got into the right area. The final ball in the first half let us down but Gary Liggett got into a good area and put a good ball across to Andrew Mitchell for the goal,” added Murphy.
As for home manager Barry Gray, he wasn’t happy that his men failed to perform on a day that could, but ultimately didn’t have had a major impact at the bottom end of the table.
“Today was a missed opportunity because we could have closed the gap and taken the chance of dragging somebody else into that position as opposed to ourselves,” he said.
Warrenpoint Town: Parr, Cowan (Smith 73), McDonald, McVeigh, S Hughes, Boyle (Devlin 56), McGuigan, M Hughes, Bagnall, Frazer, Forsyth (McCabe 73) Subs not used: McCabe, Smith, Grant, Marron
Dungannon Swifts: Coleman, McCullough, Armstrong, Burns, O’Rourke, Hutchinson, Harpur, Glackin, Hazley, Mitchell (Lavery 78), Liggett
Subs not used: Fitzpatrick, Mullen, Douglas, Sanusi
Peter McGrath, Belfast