IRISH LEAGUE: Wilson nets derby double as Portadown beat Loughgall

Portadown manager Niall Currie
Portadown manager Niall Currie

Portadown teenager Luke Wilson kicked off and closed the scoring to secure derby delight with a dream double against Loughgall.

Wilson found the net in each half as the Ports’ start to post-split life produced a 2-1 victory at Lakeview Park

The Ports enjoyed the perfect start with a goal inside the opening three minutes as Chris Lavery’s free-kick was headed home by Wilson.

Loughgall pushed hard for an equaliser and Jude Ballard’s ball from the back found an unmarked Connor Mullen but he steered his shot wide.

Mullen’s diving header then bounced off the outside of the upright.

Portadown proved a constant threat from set-piece situations over the course of the first half.

Gareth Buchanan pulled off one superb one-handed save to deny Kyle McVey then had to be alert when Adam Salley’s slick pass cut open the home backline and Lavery fired goalwards from distance.

Former Portadown striker Nathaniel Ferris left it level by lifting the ball over the advancing Chris McGaughey to make it 1-1 and reward Loughgall for a positive response.

McVey then fired wide from a promising position and cleared the crossbar, both from set-pieces.

Heavy rainfall limited the second-half flow for both sets of players.

However, Wilson produced a moment of magic to settle the game with a slick strike from outside the area on 55 minutes.

Buchanan dropped low to push away Lavery’s angled drive as Portadown posed a threat on the counter-attack.

Mullen - operating as a makeshift right-back following an enforced defensive reshuffle - scooped the ball over his own crossbar from a few yards.

In the end, Wilson’s double proved decisive to seal full points for Portadown.