Penalty pain as Ports fall short at home

Kevin Braniff finished frustrated against Glentoran on Saturday. Pic by PressEye Ltd.
Kevin Braniff finished frustrated against Glentoran on Saturday. Pic by PressEye Ltd.


PORTADOWN’S push towards a top-six finish suffered a setback at Shamrock Park on Saturday with a single-goal defeat by Glentoran.

The Ports created a number of scoring opportunities but failure to find the net - including from the penalty spot - left the game in the balance before a second-half strike by the visitors’ Richard Clarke.

Glentoran finished the fixture with just 10 men as Jay Magee collected a red card in the closing 20 minutes but Portadown struggled to gain any reward.

David Miskelly and his backline team-mates combined to frustrate Waterworth across the opening exchanges.

A penalty was awarded to the home side on 24 minutes when Kevin Braniff directed Ross Redman’s cross into the danger area and the referee, Raymond Crangle, spotted a foul on Gary Twigg. Mackle stepped up but Elliott Morris produced a save to his left-hand side to protect the clean sheet.

A strong finish to the first half by Portadown featured a dangerous cross from the attack-minded Chris Casement but both Tim Mouncey and Aaron Burns missed out on a decisive connection.

Braniff then forced Morris into a save before steering a flick narrowly wide.

The game turned on 57 minutes when Clarke jumped on defensive confusion to gain a vital touch and grab the game’s only goal.

A slick Braniff free-kick from distance tested Morris past the hour mark and the Ports captain headed goalwards from the resultant corner-kick but David Howland stepped in to block the effort on his own line.

Magee picked up his marching orders for a second bookable offence but Portadown pressure lacked any end product.

PORTADOWN: David Miskelly, Chris Casement, Chris Ramsey, Brian Gartland, Ross Redman, Sean Mackle, Neil McCafferty, Tim Mouncey, Aaron Burns, Kevin Braniff, Gary Twigg. Subs: Jamie McArdle, Richard Lecky (on for Tim Mouncey, 86 minutes), Mark Patton (on for Aaron Burns, 72 minutes), Darren Murray (on for Sean Mackle, 72 minutes), Joe McNeill.

GLENTORAN: Elliott Morris, Sean Ward, Jay Magee, Jason Hill, Calum Birney, Jimmy Gallacher, Mark Clarke, Richard Clarke, David Howland, Stephen Carson, Andy Waterworth, Subs: Martin Murray, Jim O’Hanlon, Kevin Bradley, Carl McComb, Marcus Kane (on for Stephen Carson, 77 mins).

Referee: Raymond Crangle.