PAST PORTS: A look into the club archives

Shamrock Park
Shamrock Park

Portadown Football Club’s official historian Trevor Clydesdale takes a look into the Shamrock Park archives:

Games between Portadown and Glentoran are rarely tame affairs - and the meeting of the sides at The Oval on November 19, 1994 certainly lived up to that billing.

Referee Frank McDonald was in need of a post-match police escort.

A red card for Glentoran goalkeeper Neil Armstrong allowed Martin Russell to break the deadlock from the penalty spot. Armstrong’s replacement, 17-year-old substitute Martin McKenzie, was handed what proved his sole Glentoran appearance.

When McKenzie palmed a Joey Cunningham cross up in the air, former Glasgow Rangers striker Iain Ferguson reacted first to convert the loose ball.

Neil Candlish, a target for the home fans against his former club, fired in a memorable volley from the edge of the box to increase the lead.

Robert Casey and Candlish both claimed physical abuse in the tunnel at half-time on the way back to the dressing room.

Glentoran scored the first goal of the second half but failed to significantly trouble Lindsay Hamilton, another former Glasgow Rangers player, between the Ports posts.

Casey headed home a Russell free-kick then another delivery by the latter allowed Brian Strain to add to the tally.

Candlish sealed his second of the fixture - and Portadown’s sixth goal - in the closing moments by racing clear before producing a composed finish.

Missiles arrived from the home stands, with the police called in to escort referee McDonald and his linesman off the pitch.

Glentoran manager Tommy Cassidy made a remarkable statement in his post-match interview: “For me the game was a non-event after the sending off and I lost interest after a while.”

That high-scoring success kept the Ports sitting second in the Irish League standings, with Glentoran dropping down to fourth as a result.