McFall’s frustration at crucial decisions
RONNIE McFall was left frustrated on New Year’s Day as he felt key decisions by the match officials left his Portadown side at a disadvantage.
The 1-0 defeat away to Crusaders arrived when Gareth McKeown - a former Portadown player - fired home the game’s only goal following a free-kick which led to the dismissal of Keith O’Hara for a second bookable offence.
It served to add to the anger felt by the Portadown camp following an earlier decision to rule out Tim Mouncey’s goal.
“We were probably too deep in the first half but sorted that out after the break,” said the Ports boss. “I have looked at the goal about five or six times and we were told we had three players around the goalkeeper.
“When I look at the footage, the Crusaders goalkeeper ends up running into his own player.
“Then it is doubtful for me if the free-kick should even have been given at all, especially as Keith O’Hara pulled out of the challenge.
“Adjustments should be made to take into account the conditions as players cannot stop the same on the artificial pitch compared to grass.
“It was obvious by the actions of the referee that he did not realise when he booked Keith for that challenge that he had earlier pulled out the yellow card.
“Once he understood the situation he had no option but to show Keith red.
“Referees obviously have a major influence on the match and decisions change games.”
Richard Lecky found the net to break the deadlock on Saturday and set Portadown on the path to a 2-0 victory over Coleraine at Shamrock Park.
The second successive two-goal victory – and clean sheet – on home soil in the Danske Bank Premiership provided Portadown with three points as the reward for an assured display.
Lecky’s return to the starting line-up in recent games resulted in the forward finding the net in the Mid-Ulster derby on Boxing Day. He maintained his fine form against Coleraine with another close-range finish.
McFall was in no doubt over Lecky’s ability to find the net.
“I’ve always said the same about Richard, he scores goals,” said the Portadown manager. “It was an excellent team performance against a good Coleraine side.
“Coleraine came and sat back early on but we passed the ball around well, although maybe could have shifted it more quickly at times.
“However, Ross Redman’s ability to deliver was first-class today and it was important to get in front thanks to Richard’s finish.
“They came out more in the second half but we kept our shape, stayed solid and got a second goal thanks to Brian Gartland’s volley.
“David Miskelly pulled off some important saves at key times.”
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Weather for Portadown
Sunday 26 May 2013
Temperature: 9 C to 15 C
Wind Speed: 14 mph
Wind direction: South
Temperature: 5 C to 14 C
Wind Speed: 15 mph
Wind direction: South west