Ports on the road to Portstewart after extra-time success

Chris Casement finds the net in extra-time to secure a 2-1 victory over PSNI by Portadown. Pic by PressEye Ltd.
Chris Casement finds the net in extra-time to secure a 2-1 victory over PSNI by Portadown. Pic by PressEye Ltd.

Portadown must hit the road in the Irish Cup sixth round with a visit to Portstewart following a narrow 2-1 defeat of PSNI.

The Ports had a touch of class by Chris Casement to thank for extra-time success against NIFL Championship One-based PSNI.

Casement curled home a sublime free-kick in the second period of extra-time as Portadown managed to edge into the sixth-round hat despite a sluggish performance against the Belfast hosts.

The Ports appeared on course for a comfortable success when Gary Twigg - captain for the visitors - steered home a close-range sidefoot shot off Casement’s corner-kick delivery with the clock on seven minutes.

However, PSNI levelled on 24 minutes as John Dobbin floated a ball in behind the Ports backline and, with offside protests dismissed, recent arrival Kyle Agnew raced on to tuck away the equaliser.

Garry Breen cleared the PSNI crossbar on two occasions before the break - the first off a volley, the second a late header.

Casement curled a free-kick the wrong side of the net and neat skill by Paul McElroy almost led to a chance for Twigg but a late deflection diverted the cross.

McElroy was making his first start in Portadown colours and the winger produced some positive moments during a first-half performance by the Ports that failed to spark into life.

Mark McAllister’s second-half snapshot drifted wide before the Ports had David Miskelly to thank for a smart stop to frustrate Mark Anderson.

Miskelly was also on call to stop Agnew from doubling his tally.

Portadown failed to significantly test PSNI goalkeeper David Harrison until a drive by Tim Mouncey was pushed wide.

Darren Murray joined play as a substitute and glanced one header just wide then met a McElroy cross but it lacked direction.

However, the Ports produced one final moment of magic as Casement guided his free-kick into the top corner on 110 minutes.

PORTADOWN: David Miskelly, Chris Casement, Ross Redman, Chris Ramsey, Garry Breen, Sean Mackle, Mark McAllister, Tim Mouncey, Paul McElroy, Gary Twigg, Robert Garrett. Subs: Billy Brennan, Peter McMahon (on for Mackle, 55 mins), Darren Murray (on for McAllister, 72 mins), Michael Gault (on for Mouncey, 72 mins), Shea Conaty.