McAllister on target as Ports kick off New Year with away win

Mark McAllister celebrates his goal against Coleraine. Pic by PressEye Ltd.
Mark McAllister celebrates his goal against Coleraine. Pic by PressEye Ltd.

Mark McAllister’s decisive finish left Portadown with maximum points on the opening day of 2015.

The striker steered home a Chris Casement cross in the closing moments of the first half during a 1-0 win at Coleraine.

The 1-0 success - alongside a welcome clean sheet - has placed the Ports third in the Danske Bank Premiership, just three points behind leaders Linfield.

Clear sights of goal proved limited before the break - with Joe McNeill, a former Portadown player, firing wide then Casement delivering a low cross which evaded both Darren Murray and Sean Mackle.

Peter McMahon tested Michael Doherty between the Coleraine posts with a long-range drive around the half-hour mark then another Casement cross was headed wide of the target by Michael Gault.

Coleraine’s Ian Parkhill was left frustrated early in the second half when Billy Brennan produced a smart double save on his appearance in place of the suspended David Miskelly.

Murray called Doherty into action on two occasions, from a free-kick and open play, before Brennan enjoyed a final highlight to deny Stephen Douglas.

COLERAINE: Doherty, Hegarty, Douglas, Ogilby, McCafferty, Browne, McGinty, Mullan, Parkhill, McNeill, Kane. Subs: Canning, Watt, Miskimmin (Browne, 81), Lyons (McGinty, 73), Barton.

PORTADOWN: Brennan, Casement, Redman, Ramsey, Breen, P.McMahon, Mackle, Murray, McAllister, Gault, Garrett. Subs: Mouncey, M.McMahon, Twigg, Conaty, Lyttle.

Referee: Andrew Davey.