Ports’ goalkeeper poser ahead of Cliftonville trip

Billy Brennan. Pic by PressEye Ltd.
Billy Brennan. Pic by PressEye Ltd.

Portadown manager Ronnie McFall must make a decision on the club’s goalkeeper status entering the weekend visit to Cliftonville.

Billy Brennan’s transfer to Larne was confirmed today (Friday), marking defeat last Saturday against Crusaders as his final appearance between the posts for Portadown.

David Miskelly was ruled out of that Dankse Bank Premiership loss due to a family commitment but has also been struggling with injury problems this season.

But, with Brennan gone and Portadown unable to bring in another senior goalkeeper before the noon deadline, Miskelly is expected to return to the starting line-up against Cliftonville.

Conor Larkin, a Northern Ireland youth international, was sent off on Saturday for Portadown thirds. However, Larkin is available to the reserves or firsts this weekend as the thirds’ Saturday game will kick-off at 12 o’clock, as a result, clearing his suspension in time for the afternoon fixtures.

Billy Campbell is expected to feature for the thirds in Ballymena, with Larkin an option for first-team substitute or to start against Cliftonville in the reserves’ home match.

The reserves had 15-year-old Lewis Hunter in nets during the midweek defeat to Crusaders. Two 15-year-olds and another 14-year-old player were also included in the squad.

An alternative option is for the Ports to repeat the selection of last weekend’s Dankse Bank Premiership fixture and list only outfield players on the substitutes’ bench.

Mark Carson has also moved away from the Ports, returning to Loughgall on a loan deal.

Two players from the reserves - Adam White and Mark Whitten - have joined Annagh United.

One boost arrived with confirmation of Nathaniel Ferris’ international selection to represent Northern Ireland Schoolboys under 18s.

Friendly dates will take place next week against Jersey and Guernsey as part of Centenary Shield preparations.