Dixon Park is expected to house the biggest crowd of the season this weekend when Warrenpoint Town will be in town for the Championship top of the table showdown.
The County Down lads, under new manager Matthew Tipton the former Linfield striker, hold a three point’ advantage at the summit over Stephen Hughes’ side, and after the teams shared the spoils in a six goal thriller at Milltown grounds last month, this return fixture promises to be a cracker.
Town will be the bookies favourites, having amassed ten points from their latest four outings, the only blemish being a draw with Armagh City, and they also put up a good show against Ballymena United in the League Cup, before falling 2-0 to David Jeffrey’s rejuvenated Sky Blues.
Having until the end of last season been in the Premier League they come to Ballyclare with a fine pedigree, but Comrades supremo, Hughes, is up for the challenge.
“This is the big one – a six pointer – that could have a major impact on the league table,” stated Hughes. “If Warrenpoint win they pull six points clear at the top, leaving the rest of us to play catch-up in the second half of the season. On the other hand if we win we peg them back with 30 points each, with everything to play for, so I expect that all the other promotion challengers will be rooting for us,” he argued.
Unfortunately the Reds will be without ace midfielder Corey McMullan and industrious versatile workaholic Gary Brown, both under suspension, but Hughes has a strong bench at his disposal., and fans are delighted that top striker, Chris Trussell, has recovered his scoring touch.
His double on Saturday advanced his total to seven alongside Thomas Robinson, and just one short of current top marksman McMullan. Trussell is on a goal-a-game sequence with five from five outings, and Hughes is backing him to deliver the goods against Warrenpoint.
“Big Chris went seven weeks without registering, but thankfully he has found his shooting boots, and his goals are good for team morale.
“We are up for the Warrenpoint challenge, and I hope that the fans will be out in force to give us much valued vocal support in this Championship match of the day,” he ended.