Honours even at Shamrock Park

Portadown manager Ronnie McFall. Pic by PressEye Ltd.
Portadown manager Ronnie McFall. Pic by PressEye Ltd.
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Portadown and Glentoran followed on from the previous weekend’s Irish Cup quarter-final progress with a hard-earned Danske Bank Premiership draw at Shamrock Park.

On an afternoon of strong winds and difficult pitch conditions, passing football proved at a premium in the 1-1 draw.

The Ports had an early penalty shout dismissed by the match officials when Niall Henderson blocked on the line after a Michael Gault header off Chris Casement’s corner-kick.

Peter McMahon proved sharp across the initial period and cleared the crossbar with one effort before dragging another wide of the mark.

However, his third attempt produced the game’s first goal when the forward found space in the penalty area to smash home on the half-volley.

Stephen McAlorum was presented with Glentoran’s first scoring opportunity when, around the half-hour mark, he raced on to return Gault’s clearance from a corner-kick just over the target.

Henderson’s set-piece strength posed a threat to Portadown and the hosts required both Garry Breen and Ross Redman to clear one low corner-kick late in the first half.

It was a case of goalkeeper to goalkeeper inside the first minute of the second half when Glentoran’s Elliott Morris fired forward an upfield punt that forced David Miskelly between the home posts to scramble back and push the ball out for a corner-kick.

Chances proved limited but Glentoran’s Curtis Allen found space at the back post to connect to Henderson’s corner-kick, only for the effort to drop the wrong side of the post.

Miskelly was then on hand to collect a David Scullion snapshot as Glentoran pushed on in search of an equaliser.

It arrived on 74 minutes as Scullion whipped a cross over from the left and Jordan Stewart popped up to hook home from inside the box.

Mark McAllister was introduced from the sidelines and came close to an early impression but Marcus Kane’s superb sliding challenge stopped the striker from releasing a shot. The opening arrived thanks to great work by Robert Garrett and Sean Mackle.

Portadown had the final talking point of the match when Casement’s curling free-kick left Morris rooted to the spot but the strike bounced off the inside of the goalkeeper’s post.

PORTADOWN: David Miskelly, Chris Casement, Ross Redman, Keith O’Hara, Garry Breen, Peter McMahon, Sean Mackle, Tim Mouncey, Michael Gault, Gary Twigg, Robert Garrett. Subs: Billy Brennan, Mark McAllister (on for Mouncey, 82 mins), Ken Oman, Chris Ramsey, Shea Conaty.

GLENTORAN: Elliott Morris, Marcus Kane, David Scullion, Curtis Allen, Jordan Stewart, Niall Henderson, Stephen McAlorum, Kym Nelson, Steven Gordon, Barry Holland, Johnny Addis. Subs: Fra McCaffrey, Jim O’Hanlon (on for Scullion, 80 mins), Danny McKee (on for Nelson, 84 mins), George Gray, Aaron Hogg.

Referee: Colin Burns.