JAMIE Smith signed off on his Portadown Youth career last Thursday by bagging the only goal of the National League Plate final.
Smith’s late sidefoot shot helped secure the Northern Ireland Boys’ Football Association-backed silverware at the expense of Glenavon Youth in front of a large crowd at the Brownstown Park 3G pitch.
It provided a fitting finale to youth football for the under 16s and coach, Paul Rae, is full of praise for the players’ attitude.
“It was a nice way for the boys to go out having spent so long with Portadown Youth and enjoyed impressive progress,” said Rae. “It is a great group, not only in terms of talent but also dedication and attitude.
“I wish them every success in the future and my thanks, on behalf of the coaching team, also go to the parents for playing such an important role.
“From a personal viewpoint, my thanks go to Ricky Steenson, Andy Smith, Paul Keegan and Trevor Williamson.
“We were poor in the first half, although Shane McPartlin was excellent as goalkeeper.
“We got it together for the second half and played a lot better, with Jamie having a penalty kick saved before grabbing the winner.
“It was a well-worked goal as Jordan Lyttle hits a great set-piece delivery so he angled in a free-kick, Scott Rae knocked it down and Jamie did really well to react inside the box then angle his body to direct it home.
“They had a goal disallowed for offside at 0-0 but I felt we produced the late pressure.
“Glenavon were very sporting on the night and it was a good final for our last match.”
PORTADOWN YOUTH: Shane McPartlin, Jake Richardson, Tommy Turley, Jordan Lyttle, Mark Whitten, Nathan Thompson, Jake Keegan, Scott Rae, Regan McIlveen, Jamie Smith, Ryan McKeown, Jacob Taylor, Marcio Soares.