First point for Ports in McGibbon era

Jake Dykes putting Mark McAllister under pressure at Shamrock Park. Pic by PressEye Ltd.
Jake Dykes putting Mark McAllister under pressure at Shamrock Park. Pic by PressEye Ltd.
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Portadown picked up a first point under control of caretaker manager Pat McGibbon as the hosts and Ballinamallard United served up a scoreless draw that lacked spark.

Four points divided the sides prior to kick-off in the league standings and victory would have offered either team a significant lift in the battle to move clear of the relegation risk.

However, the fixture failed to kick into life, with few clear sights of goal - but a welcome stop to a four-game losing streak under McGibbon.

Ports goalkeeper David Miskelly had to be alert inside the opening minutes to block the progress of Ivan Sproule with an outstretched leg in the penalty area.

Sproule then fired over a dipping volley - with other efforts wide of the mark or over the crossbar for Ballinamallard from Johnny Lafferty, Stephen O’Flynn, David Elliott and Emmet Friars across play.

Portadown’s most promising attempt was carved out in the first half by Ross Redman and Chris Casement but Stefan McCusker reacted well to stop Gary Twigg’s diving header.

Twigg almost latched on to a measured Mark McAllister pass in the closing stages but failed to gain a significant touch before the advancing McCusker hacked away the loose ball.

John Currie came close with his header at a stretch off Adam Lecky’s cross but the final whistle signalled a share of the spoils.

PORTADOWN: David Miskelly, Chris Ramsey, Matthew Parker, Garry Breen, Ken Oman, Michael Gault, Robert Garrett, Chris Casement, Gary Twigg, Ross Redman, Mark McAllister. Subs: Martin Marron, Tim Mouncey, Sean Mackle (on for Garrett, 61 mins), Jake Richardson (on for Redman, 80 mins), Nathaniel Ferris (on for McAllister, 87 mins).

BALLINAMALLARD UNITED: Stefan McCusker, Ryan Morris, David Elliott, Emmet Friars, Jake Dykes, Shane McCabe, Adam Lecky, Stephen O’Flynn, John Currie, Johnny Lafferty, Ivan Sproule. Subs: Liam McMenamin, Jason McCartney (on for Currie, 74 mins), Cathal Beacom, Steve Feeney, Ryan Campbell (on for Sproule, 81 mins).

Referee: Raymond Hetherington.