Goal ruled out and red card on the way to single-goal reverse
DANSKE BANK PREMIERSHIP CRUSADERS 1 PORTADOWN 0
IT tells a tale that the main focus for frustration from Portadown fans on Saturday was the referee rather than the Crusaders goalscorer.
Gareth McKeown, a former Portadown player now largely unpopular with the away support, fired home a late drive to settle this New Year’s Day date in Belfast on 84 minutes.
However, the bulk of the Portadown anger was directed at Alan Black following the referee’s decision to both award the free-kick that ultimately resulted in McKeown’s goal and send off Keith O’Hara in strange circumstances.
O’Hara had previously been booked in the first half but the referee issued a second yellow after the interval - apparently unaware of his earlier decision judging by the delay in eventually administering red.
Crusaders may have dominated possession but Portadown appeared on course for a hard-earned away point before the O’Hara incident, quickly-taken free-kick and Paul Heatley cutback for McKeown to score.
The performance of the match officials was already under the spotlight following a decision to rule out Tim Mouncey’s goal on 25 minutes from a Ross Redman corner-kick.
Matthew Snoddy looked sharp for Crusaders early on by crossing for Jordan Owens to head wide before picking out Gary McCutcheon as the ex-Ports striker forced David Miskelly into a smart stop.
Miskelly also stopped a slick Snoddy volley then ended the half by saving from Colin Coates.
Portadown’s performance improved significantly in the second half and Richard Lecky came close to adding to his festive form in front of the net but could only flick Chris Casement’s ball over the target.
Owens squandered two chances in quick succession then only a clearance off the line by Joe McNeill prevented Heatley from steering home his corner-kick delivery.
However, the game’s defining period arrived on 84 minutes with the O’Hara dismissal – followed moments later by McKeown’s strike.
CRUSADERS: Sean O’Neill, Gareth McKeown, David Magowan, Colin Coates, Joshua Robinson, Declan Caddell, Gary McCutcheon, Craig McClean, Jordan Owens, Matthew Snoddy, Paul Heatley. Subs: Paul Leeman, Chris Morrow (on for Snoddy, 73 mins), David Rainey (on for D.Caddell, 82 mins), Aiden Watson (on for G.McCutcheon, 92 mins), Jamie Mitchell.
PORTADOWN: David Miskelly, Sean Mackle, Ross Redman, Keith O’Hara, Chris Ramsey, Kevin Braniff, Tim Mouncey, Joe McNeill, Chris Casement, Richard Lecky, Brian Gartland. Subs: Jamie McArdle, Ryan Burns (on for S.Mackle, 82 mins), Michael McLellan, Andrew Burns, Mark Patton.
Referee: Alan Black
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Monday 20 May 2013
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Temperature: 9 C to 16 C
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