IRISH CUP: Mark McAllister hits hat-trick as Portadown ease past Wakehurst

Mark McAllister (second left) celebrates with Portadown team-mates during Irish Cup success over Wakehurst. Pic by PressEye Ltd.
Mark McAllister (second left) celebrates with Portadown team-mates during Irish Cup success over Wakehurst. Pic by PressEye Ltd.
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Mark McAllister’s hat-trick helped the injury-hit striker get off the mark for the season and Portadown progress past Wakehurst into the next round of the Irish Cup by a 6-1 scoreline.

Darren Murray’s transfer request proved a talking point during the pre-match build-up, with the wantaway striker on the substitutes’ bench.

However, the early match focus centred on another striker as teenager Marcio Soares proved an early threat.

Clever control around the penalty area helped Soares skip past two tackles and his first shot was blocked but the rebound resulted in handball and a penalty kick.

McAllister tucked away the spot-kick with ease to break the deadlock on 15 minutes.

Soares came close to making his mark with a glancing header off Matthew Parker’s long throw-in but the effort bounced off the post.

It was 2-0 seconds later as play continued and McAllister pick up possession wide on the right, with the forward finding the inside of the net with an angled drive to double his personal tally.

Wakehurst carved out a sight of goal around the half-hour mark as Kurtis McCartney’s corner-kick was steered goalwards by Andrew Laughlin but the attempt drifted wide of the target.

A similar shot to McAllister’s second goal provided Portadown with number three as Casement added to the tally on 41 minutes. McAllister and Matthew Parker helped launch a counter-attack that ended with Robert Garrett driving forward.

The midfielder had Soares free on the left but opted to feed a pass into the path of Casement and he steered home a crisp shot.

Portadown pushed on after the interval and increased the advantage within five minutes of the restart as Ross Redman’s curling corner-kick was forced home by Tim Mouncey.

McAllister’s hat-trick finish arrived on 57 minutes with a close-range shot to cap Sean Mackle’s superb run along the right wing.

Soares was prevented from the spot on the scoresheet his overall performance deserved when he connected to Casement’s cross but goalkeeper Macauley Cairns produced a point-blank save.

Parker opened his account for the Ports on 81 minutes with a low shot inside Cairns’ near post after moving clear of two tackles.

Wakehurst gained a reward with a late consolation as Laughlin gained the final touch to scramble the loose ball home.

PORTADOWN: David Miskelly, Chris Casement, Ross Redman, Garry Breen, Sean Mackle, Mark McAllister, Tim Mouncey, Robert Garrett, Ken Oman, Matthew Parker, Marcio Soares. Subs: Billy Brennan, Keith O’Hara, Gary Twigg, Christian Stewart (on for Garrett, 83 mins), Darren Murray.

WAKEHURST: Macauley Cairns, Craig McCaughern, Kurtis McCartney, Karl Steele, Niall Swann, Lee McClelland, Conor Ross, Jordan Lemon, Jordan Foster, Andrew Laughlin, Lee McCaughern. Subs: John Alexander, Corey Price, Jake Armstrong (on for Ross, 73 mins), Andrew Millar (on for Steele, 27 mins), Bradley Cairns (on for Foster, 60 mins).

Referee: Lee Tavinder.