Portadown thirds suffered a last-gasp sucker-punch as punishment for a poor second-half performance in Saturday’s cup exit.
The visit to face Ballymena United finished in a 2-1 defeat across the Harry Cavan Youth Challenge Cup.
Scott Megaw left the sides level at the break thanks to his fine free-kick finish in the aftermath of Ballymena’s opening goal. The home side added a late decisive second.
“It was disappointing as the hard work of the first half provided the perfect platform to get into the quarter-finals,” said Chris Wright, manager of the thirds. “Maybe they didn’t realise the opportunity available as we failed to threaten in the second half despite the wind advantage.
“With only three of Saturday’s squad ineligible for next season then most will get another chance.”
PORTADOWN: Conor Larkin, Eoin McConville, Shea Conaty, Joel Adams, Scott Megaw, Tiernan Judge, Patrick McPartland, Luke Wilson, Peter Campbell, Nathanial Ferris, Adam Brown. Subs: Andrew Wilson, Kevin McAlinden, Zak Crooks.
Portadown return to NIFL Youth League Section A duty tomorrow (Saturday) at Coleraine.
Portadown finished down by 4-0 away to Linfield Swifts in last week’s NIFL Reserve League.