DANSKE BANK PREMIERSHIP PORTADOWN 0 GLENTORAN 1
PORTADOWN’S push towards a top-six finish suffered a setback at Shamrock Park on Saturday with a single-goal defeat by Glentoran.
The Ports created a number of scoring opportunities but failure to find the net - including from the penalty spot - left the game in the balance before a second-half strike by the visitors’ Richard Clarke.
Glentoran finished the fixture with just 10 men as Jay Magee collected a red card in the closing 20 minutes but Portadown struggled to gain any reward.
David Miskelly and his backline team-mates combined to frustrate Waterworth across the opening exchanges.
A penalty was awarded to the home side on 24 minutes when Kevin Braniff directed Ross Redman’s cross into the danger area and the referee, Raymond Crangle, spotted a foul on Gary Twigg. Mackle stepped up but Elliott Morris produced a save to his left-hand side to protect the clean sheet.
A strong finish to the first half by Portadown featured a dangerous cross from the attack-minded Chris Casement but both Tim Mouncey and Aaron Burns missed out on a decisive connection.
Braniff then forced Morris into a save before steering a flick narrowly wide.
The game turned on 57 minutes when Clarke jumped on defensive confusion to gain a vital touch and grab the game’s only goal.
A slick Braniff free-kick from distance tested Morris past the hour mark and the Ports captain headed goalwards from the resultant corner-kick but David Howland stepped in to block the effort on his own line.
Magee picked up his marching orders for a second bookable offence but Portadown pressure lacked any end product.
PORTADOWN: David Miskelly, Chris Casement, Chris Ramsey, Brian Gartland, Ross Redman, Sean Mackle, Neil McCafferty, Tim Mouncey, Aaron Burns, Kevin Braniff, Gary Twigg. Subs: Jamie McArdle, Richard Lecky (on for Tim Mouncey, 86 minutes), Mark Patton (on for Aaron Burns, 72 minutes), Darren Murray (on for Sean Mackle, 72 minutes), Joe McNeill.
GLENTORAN: Elliott Morris, Sean Ward, Jay Magee, Jason Hill, Calum Birney, Jimmy Gallacher, Mark Clarke, Richard Clarke, David Howland, Stephen Carson, Andy Waterworth, Subs: Martin Murray, Jim O’Hanlon, Kevin Bradley, Carl McComb, Marcus Kane (on for Stephen Carson, 77 mins).
Referee: Raymond Crangle.