IRISH CUP: Philip Lowry off the mark as Portadown march past frustrated Coleraine

Ken Oman celebrates breaking the deadlock for Portadown in the Irish Cup defeat of Coleraine. Pic by PressEye Ltd.
Ken Oman celebrates breaking the deadlock for Portadown in the Irish Cup defeat of Coleraine. Pic by PressEye Ltd.
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Philip Lowry’s first goal for Portadown provided a memorable finale to an entertaining Irish Cup tie that left Coleraine frustrated at a failure to benefit from early pressure.

Lowry, the January signing secured to bolster the Portadown squad’s pursuit of silverware, made his mark in style by smashing home a long-range shot in the closing stages to cement safe passage into the quarter-finals.

The 3-1 scoreline proved harsh on a Coleraine side which dominated the initial exchanges but lacked any significant end product.

James McLaughlin and Jamie McGonigle were presented with early sights of goal, with Darren McCauley - the hat-trick hero in November’s league defeat of Portadown - a constant first-half threat.

Ports captain Keith O’Hara stepped in to produce a block at the near post off McGonigle’s attempt and David Miskelly then dropped low to stop a drive by the Coleraine forward.

However, Portadown’s first goal in 308 minutes of football arrived against the run of play with 29 gone on the cup clock.

Ross Redman’s corner-kick delivery from the right created confusion inside the penalty area and Ken Oman produced a close-range touch to turn the ball over the line.

Miskelly was forced into action to block the threat after Brad Lyons’ driving run and neat exchange with Ruari Harkin.

Portadown’s positive period included a glancing Gary Twigg header and Mark McAllister shot on the turn. Michael Doherty was then unable to gather a low Twigg shot but the danger was cleared.

Oman’s goal had left Coleraine reeling but the visitors regrouped to finish the first half on level terms.

Patient passing finished with a measured sliderule ball by Ruaidhri Higgins that split the Portadown backline for McLaughlin to latch on and angle home a fine drive.

McLaughlin was offered another opportunity for glory moments later but had too much ground to cover and the shot lacked power or precision.

A slick Portadown counter-attack after the break ended with a penalty kick as a referee’s assistant adjudged Chris Casement’s cross to have hit the arm of a Coleraine player.

Twigg stepped up to slot home - and then immediately gestured to the bench to be replaced due to injury.

Coleraine lacked the same urgency as the first hour across the final stages but any slender hopes of forcing extra-time evaporated when Lowry picked up possession wide on the left and found the net with a dipping drive.

PORTADOWN: David Miskelly, Keith O’Hara, Chris Ramsey, Ken Oman, Ross Redman, Robert Garrett, Michael Gault, Philip Lowry, Gary Twigg, Mark McAllister, Chris Casement. Subs: Sean Mackle, Marcio Soares (on for Twigg, 62 mins), Matthew Parker, Padraig Judge, Martin Marron.

COLERAINE: Michael Doherty, Howard Beverland, Ruaidhri Higgins, Steven Douglas, Darren McCauley, Ruari Harkin, James McLaughlin, Brad Lyons, Lyndon Kane, Jamie McGonigle, Mark Edgar. Subs: David Ogilby, Neil McCafferty, Sammy Morrow (on for Lyons, 75 mins), Ian Parkhill (on for McGonigle, 65 mins), Andy Findlay.

Referee: Raymond Hetherington.