McAllister hits home hat-trick to kick off season’s scoring run

Mark McAllister opened his account for the season with a weekend hat-trick.
Mark McAllister opened his account for the season with a weekend hat-trick.

Darren Murray’s transfer request may have dominated the pre-match preparations but the Irish Cup tie offered fans an insight into life after the wantaway striker.

Mark McAllister opened his account for the season with a confidence-boosting hat-trick in partnership with teenage forward Marcio Soares, the latter adding another impressive performance to his growing reputation.

Murray was named on the substitutes’ bench by manager Ronnie McFall just days after having his second transfer request of the season accepted by the club.

Murray’s mind may have been on the next challenge as he kept one eye on play but those on the pitch produced an assured display to kick off the Ports’ final push for a trophy this season in a professional manner.

The hurt of last season’s final frustration should serve as extra motivation across this year’s Irish Cup campaign and McAllister wasted little time in making his mark by slotting home a penalty kick on 15 minutes.

Soares’ slick control forced Wakehurst into the handball incident and the forward then had a glancing header bounce off the post. Play progressed then McAllister doubled his tally with an angled drive before Chris Casement took advantage of his advanced role to convert number three from a similar position.

Tim Mouncey forced home the loose ball off Ross Redman’s second-half corner-kick ahead of McAllister’s close-range finish.

Matthew Parker opened his account for the club with a low drive and Wakehurst claimed a consolation.

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.